How to Protect Customer Privacy

Data Privacy Week featured image
Data Privacy Week featured image

As a partner of the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA), Defendify is excited to be an official NCSA Champion of Data Privacy Week. As NCSA Data Privacy Week Champions, our goal is to empower and guide organizations on how to protect customer privacy, as well as to help citizens understand that they have the power to manage their data.

What is Data Privacy Week?

Data Privacy Week is a global effort to increase awareness and education about protecting personal and organizational data. Initially commemorating the January 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection, Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an spinoff of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. It has since has been extended for a whole week given its importance.

The NCSA is using Data Privacy Week to encourage businesses to “respect privacy.” Companies are responsible for keeping individuals’ information safe from unauthorized access and ensuring fair, relevant, and legitimate data collection and processing.

In a Pew Research Center study, 79% of U.S. adults report being concerned about how companies are using their data. Protecting customers’ data is a smart strategy for growth, enhances reputation, and quite simply- it is good business.

5 Ways to Respect Customer Data Privacy

1. If you collect it, protect it

When a customer decides to conduct business with your organization and disclose specific data, the expectation is that you will protect their privacy. As a business, it is your responsibility to only collect data for relevant and legitimate purposes and follow security measures and compliance standards to keep that data safe. If a breach does happen due to lax security practices, your company risks financial loss, a diminished reputation, and a lack of trust from current and future customers.

2. Adopt a privacy framework

Build privacy into your company culture and processes by using a security framework such as NIST. Effective cybersecurity is about building an ongoing program with a cyber-solid foundation of plans, policies, and procedures; a cyber-smart culture of awareness and education; and cyber-strong technology that goes beyond traditional tools like antivirus and firewalls.

3. Conduct an assessment of your data collection practices

Understanding where your company currently stands is the first step to respecting your consumers’ privacy. By taking a cybersecurity assessment, you can better understand your overall cybersecurity health, helping you consistently meet customer and government compliance needs in your industry. With a clear view of your cybersecurity health, your business can adequately educate employees on best privacy practices and how to follow industry and governmental guidelines.

4. Transparency builds trust

Trust is gained through transparency and clear communication. Consumers should be aware of how their information is obtained, how your organization uses it, and the privacy measures in place to ensure its safety. Being a trustworthy company is one of many ways that having a healthy cybersecurity posture can elevate you as an organization and give you a competitive edge.

5. Maintain oversight over partners and vendors

If your business grants network access to a third-party vendor or partner, you are legally responsible for how they collect and use your customer’s data. To ensure that these third parties have processes in place to protect their data, ask them to complete a cybersecurity risk assessment. At its core, a risk assessment is a thorough review of the functions, policies, and processes that an organization has in place, either internally or externally, and what risks they introduce to an organization.

More Resources on How to Protect Customer Privacy

Resources & insights

Protect Your Data with Data Privacy Awareness Training
Our goal is to empower and guide organizations on ways to protect the privacy of those with which they do business.
The 3 B's: Getting Buy-In for Data Security Policies and Procedures
Data security policies and procedures may not seem like the most exciting secret weapons when it comes to fighting cybercrime, but they play an important role in your organization's defense against breaches. Learn how to get your full team on board with our 3 B's of getting buy-in across your organization.
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Taking Control of Data Privacy Cybersecurity image
Taking Control of Data Privacy & Cybersecurity
Ginny Lee, the Americas Privacy Officer at Cisco, explains how increased data privacy concerns have influenced government regulations, managing a remote workforce, and new technology adoption. Learn how quickly identify data privacy and security risks across all departments, and what’s needed to fill the gaps.

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