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Current Threats and Trends Impacting Data Privacy Practices

07.16.2019

As hacks and other threats to digital information continue to increase, the demand for data privacy for individuals and businesses is greater than ever before. Thus far in 2019, major data breaches have been reported by the Oklahoma Department of Securities, Alaska’s Department of Health & Social Services, Huddle House, Dunkin’ Donuts and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), among others. The latest major breach was Facebook’s admission that as many as 600 million user passwords were stored in plain text and accessible by its employees. Subsequently, it was discovered that two third-party applications holding Facebook user data left this data publicly exposed.

According to the RSA Data Privacy & Security Survey 2019 findings:

  • 64 percent of consumers affected by a data breach blame the business holding their data instead of the hacker
  • 29 percent of US respondents say they have felt pressure from their employees to provide personal health data to receive a health benefit discount or other monetary incentive
  • 45 percent of US respondents say their personal data was compromised via an online data breach in the last five years

According to the Cisco Data Privacy Benchmark Study from January 2019, which surveyed more than 3,200 global security and privacy professionals in 18 countries across major industries:

  • 87 percent of respondents reported an average delay of four weeks in selling to existing customers or prospects due to customer data privacy concerns
  • GDPR-ready companies had shorter sales delays, were less likely to have experienced a data breach in the last year and had shorter system downtime

Organizations may face litigation, regulatory fines and reputation issues if sensitive information is not properly protected. Data breaches, data abuses and data privacy remain the top concern in 2019, particularly for organizations in industries with complex regulatory requirements or those that lack an integrated approach to cybersecurity.

For more information on our comprehensive cybersecurity and data privacy services, please contact Greg Smith, Advisory Services Partner, at gsmith@bswllc.com or Alan DeVaughan, Advisory Services Manager, at adevaughan@bswllc.com.

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