January 28, 2021 is Data Privacy Day—an annual initiative to generate awareness about the importance of privacy. Ostra is proud to join this global effort as a 2021 Data Privacy Champion.
As our personal and business lives become more interconnected throughout our online communities, it’s crucial to understand the impact of our decisions and actions online. Ostra is a Data Privacy Day Champion because we were founded on the belief that all businesses and individuals have a fundamental right to data privacy and security.
“Our company was founded with the goal of protecting business data. How you handle sensitive data is critical to how you care for clients,” said Ostra Founder Michael Kennedy. “Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to data privacy. We’re grateful for the opportunity to be a Data Privacy Champion because it allows us to help spread that awareness even further.”
This year’s initiative emphasizes cultivating trust among consumers by adopting data privacy frameworks and promoting transparency around data collection practices. In 2021, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is encouraging individuals to “Own Your Privacy” by learning more about how to protect the valuable data that is online, and encouraging businesses to “Respect Privacy,” which advocates for holding organizations responsible for keeping individuals’ personal information safe from unauthorized access and ensuring fair, relevant and legitimate data collection and processing.
According to a Pew Research Center study, 79% of U.S. adults report being concerned about the way their data is being used by companies. As technology evolves and the pandemic continues to influence how consumers interact with businesses online, data collection practices are becoming increasingly unavoidable, making it imperative that companies act responsibly.
As an industry leader in cybersecurity solutions, Ostra’s proprietary technology was built around protecting data. Keeping data private is not just a cornerstone to Ostra’s business, but a fundamental promise to the clients we serve. We do not store or collect any client data, and we leverage our best-in-class security technology to enable our clients to follow the same best practice.
Taking Action to Protect Data
In cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance, we invite our clients and partners to join us in Data Privacy Day by helping us spread awareness about how to protect the valuable data that is online. Here are tips to help guide our community to better data privacy practices.
- If you collect it, protect it. Data breaches can not only lead to great financial loss, but a loss in reputation and customer trust. Follow reasonable security measures to keep individuals’ personal information safe from inappropriate and unauthorized access. Make sure the personal data you collect is processed in a fair manner and only collected for relevant and legitimate purposes.
- Consider adopting a privacy framework. Build privacy into your business by researching and adopting a privacy framework to help you manage risk and create a culture of privacy in your organization.
- Conduct an assessment of your data collection practices. Understand which privacy laws and regulations apply to your business. Educate your employees of their and your organization’s obligations to protecting personal information.
- Transparency builds trust. Be open and honest about how you collect, use and share consumers’ personal information. Think about how the consumer may expect their data to be used and design settings to protect their information by default. Communicate clearly and concisely to the public what privacy means to your organization and the steps you take to achieve and maintain privacy.
- Maintain oversight of partners and vendors. If someone provides services on your behalf, you are also responsible for how they collect and use your consumers’ personal information.
- Personal info is like money: Value it. Protect it. Personal information, such as your purchase history, IP address, or location, has tremendous value to businesses – just like money. Make informed decisions about whether or not to share your data with certain businesses by considering the amount of personal information they are asking for, and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return.
- Keep tabs on your apps. Many apps ask for access to personal information, such as your geographic location, contacts list and photo album, before you can use their services. Be thoughtful about who gets that information, and wary of apps that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering. Delete unused apps on your internet-connect devices and keep others secure by performing updates.
- Manage your privacy settings. Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information. Get started with NCSA’s Manage Your Privacy Settings page.
About Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. NCSA, the nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness, leads the effort in North America each year. For more information about Data Privacy Day 2021 and how to get involved, visit https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/.
About the National Cyber Security Alliance
NCSA is the Nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with a broad array of stakeholders in government, industry and civil society. NCSA’s primary partners are the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and NCSA’s Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; AIG; American Express; Bank of America; Cofense; Comcast Corporation; Eli Lilly and Company; ESET North America; Facebook; Intel Corporation; Lenovo; LogMeIn; Marriott International; Mastercard; MediaPro; Microsoft Corporation; Mimecast; KnowBe4; NortonLifeLock; Proofpoint; Raytheon; Trend Micro, Inc.; Uber: U.S. Bank; Visa and Wells Fargo. NCSA’s core efforts include Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October); Data Privacy Day (Jan. 28); STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety awareness and education campaign co-founded by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group with federal government leadership from the Department of Homeland Security; and CyberSecure My Business™, which offers webinars, web resources and workshops to help businesses be resistant to and resilient from cyberattacks. For more information on NCSA, please visit https://staysafeonline.org.
Have questions about protecting your clients and data privacy? Connect with our team, or request a free security risk assessment to identify both known and unknown threats to your data.
Stacey Kusnier is the Marketing Director at Ostra Cybersecurity, a multi-layered and fully managed Security as a Service. With a passion for fostering mission-driven culture and B2B marketing, Stacey drives campaign strategies to support Ostra’s sales team and Channel Partners.