Today, January 28, marks the recognition of Data Privacy Day, observed around the world to raise awareness about privacy and data protection best practices. We asked some of our team here at Entrust Security about why Data Privacy Day is important, and what being privacy aware means to them.

Cindy Provin, Chief Executive Officer, Entrust Security

While today is “Data Privacy Day”, European and California policymakers believe every day is data privacy day as they hold the largest technology companies’ feet to the fire to protect consumers’ privacy. Just last week, French regulators fined Google $57 million for violating certain provisions of the GDPR, with the company accused of not properly disclosing to users how data is collected across its search engine, Google Maps, and YouTube.

Watching how companies respond will be telling. “These high profile policy developments are sending a signal that the days of using personal data for commercial advantage without offering consumers some level of transparency are waning,” said Cindy Provin, Entrust Security Chief Executive Officer. “It’s time for technology companies to become vigilant about building consumer trust, both because regulators are watching and because consumers are increasingly invested in how their data is being used. Ultimately, it’s a smart business strategy. Trust takes years to build but only an instant to destroy.”

Peter Carlisle, VP of Worldwide Sales, Entrust Security

Reflecting on Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day is a chance to reflect on the scores of data breaches that hit businesses in 2018. Compared to this time last year, there’s an unprecedented awareness of the importance of data security, with B2B customers and consumers alike demanding trust, integrity and control when it comes to how companies manage their data.

As sophisticated and well-funded threat actors adapt quickly to new security measures, trying to protect customer data has become an exhausting process. But, the best defence in cybersecurity is a proactive one, and the right mix of hardware such as hardware security modules (HSMs), software and internal education provides a firm foundation of protection. Encryption, digital signing and key generation are also increasingly important, as data that is fully encrypted is useless to hackers even if a data breach does occur.

Juan Asenjo, Sr. Manager, Global Partner Marketing, Entrust Security

To me, ‘Privacy Aware’ is the realization that one has to be vigilant with protecting what defines us as individuals in this day and age. It is being conscious of the fact that when we use technology, we are putting ourselves at risk. But awareness by itself does not solve the problem. Beyond being mindful of the risks and consequences, we must take action by changing our behaviors, applying best practices, and frankly just using common sense. The way many people recklessly use social media to reveal information that can be easily used to compromise their identity is just one example of how the rush to be seen and heard leaves individuals’ exposed.