As part of our mission to help organisations protect their data and all paths to it, Imperva is supporting Privacy Awareness Week in Australia and Singapore, with the aim of educating individuals and organisations about the importance of data privacy and protection.
In today’s digital economy, data is the new oil. The problem is: when an asset like personal data becomes this valuable, demand for it soars. This simple economic principle creates multiple risks for data. Whether it’s stolen and sold to the highest bidder, held for ransom, or shared without consent with third parties, personal data is manipulated every second of every hour of every day. And unlike oil, data is a plentiful resource that is multiplying exponentially, making it harder to track and secure.
A recent study commissioned by Imperva found the proliferation of data collection is making it increasingly difficult for consumers to maintain control over their personal information. The No Silver Linings report found the majority (67 percent) of consumers in Australia and Singapore say they have “no idea” with how many companies they’ve shared their personal data. Over half (54 percent) say they share data with so many different companies that they can’t possibly verify each company’s track record of how well they look after and protect personal data.
However, despite people’s propensity to share data, consumer trust in organisations to protect their data is low. In Australia and Singapore, 37 percent say their faith in digital service providers to protect their personal data has decreased over the past five years. Just 15 percent say it’s increased, despite the introduction of more data privacy regulation.
Even industries that handle our most valuable and sensitive data are not highly trusted. Only 44 percent trust Government organisations and 41 percent trust Financial Services. There is almost no trust for Messaging Services, Social Media, Media and Streaming Services, Online Gaming, and Retail (all scoring 10 percent or below).
There are also serious consequences for organisations that fail to secure their customers’ data. Half (50 percent) of Australian and Singapore residents have stopped, or would stop, using a company’s services following a serious data breach.
But data and privacy breaches don’t just result in lost revenue and damaged brand reputation, they can also have severe legal ramifications, and sometimes financial penalties.
The regulatory landscape around data privacy has changed dramatically in recent years. The European Union led the way with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and now many Asia Pacific countries have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, stricter data privacy regulations.
Regulators have made clear to commercial entities operating across Asia Pacific that properly protecting the data they hold is important. Technology and security leaders have done well in proactively seeking advice and improving data management and protection. However, most of them remain traditional in their approach, focusing on decades-old security controls like Data Loss Prevention (DLP), perimeter controls, and endpoint protection, without sufficient awareness of the need to pivot their security strategy to one that’s centred around data.
Tighter regulation, consumer awareness and the increasing frequency and scale of data breaches highlights the need for organisations to rethink their approach to data security. To do this, businesses need to fully understand what personal information they collect and store, who has access to it, and how to protect it. During Privacy Awareness Week, we urge Asia Pacific organisations to get a sense for how wide their sensitive personal data management gap is by conducting an assessment of their data collection, storage, processing and access practices. To get you started, we’ve published a helpful blog about taking a data-centric approach to data privacy.
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