4 Types of Organizations That Need to Pay Closer Attention to Data Security

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4 Types of Organizations That Need to Pay Closer Attention to Data Security

Data security is a term used frequently in news reports. This company or that had a data breach. Users should take measures to change passwords and lock down their credit reports and personal data. 

At times, small businesses and organizations assume they may be less at risk for a data breach than mega corporations. Unfortunately, hackers don’t care who they target. They only want a successful win as they face the challenge of circumventing security measures. If you haven’t paid much attention to keeping your users’ data safe, now is the time to ramp up your efforts.

What Businesses Need to Protect Themselves From Data Security Threats?

Every type of organization should take data protection measures to keep data out of the hands of cybercriminals. From 2020 to 2022, users saw unprecedented data breach attempts. In the second quarter of 2022 alone, around 52 million data breaches occurred, with the highest number at the end of 2020 with 125 million cases. 

Unfortunately, some types of organizations assume they aren’t at very high risk and might put their patrons in situations where their data is vulnerable. 

1. Churches

Churches traditionally didn’t keep much data online. They might have handwritten accounts of baptisms, membership rolls and such. However, as more and more things go onto the internet of things (IoT), religious organizations find it’s simpler to have everything in one place where all leaders in the church can access it at any time from anywhere.

Using cloud-based services and third-party church tools opens data up to potential breaches. The fix is to use cloud-based computing services with top-notch security and to train those with access to accounts to not fall for phishing scams and to protect their logins and passwords. 

2. Lotteries

People who like to cheat will find new ways to game any system. Lotteries might be particularly vulnerable to insertion attacks where people try to get into the data and change the numbers chosen or otherwise mess with results. They also might tamper with physical data, such as number drawing equipment. 

Most lotteries get around such measures by having a system in place to prevent cheating. For example, the Virginia Lottery randomly selects what ball sets they use just before each show. They text equipment with multiple people present. They also keep all equipment in a secure room. 

3. Healthcare Institutions

The United States Department of Health and Human Services ranks data breaches and lists Baptist Medical Center of San Antonio, Texas with approximately 1.24 million patients impacted, as one of the largest breaches in the country. 

Healthcare institutions are high value to hackers due to often keeping social security numbers and many personal details. Cybercriminals won’t always go for the largest institutions, either. They know that smaller groups may be lax in their security. For example, groups of doctors or smaller hospitals. 

4. E-Commerce Stores

Experts estimate experienced hackers can breach company networks 93% of the time. No matter what security you put in place, your customers' information may be compromised at some point. For digital stores, all info is stored online and particularly vulnerable. 

Your brand is responsible for protecting that data. Rules such as the General Data Regulation Protection (GDPR) act apply to you if you sell to any European Union (EU) citizen–it doesn’t matter if your business isn’t located in the EU. You could still fall victim to fines from the GDPR even if you reside in the United States. 

Your best bet is to collect only data you must have to conduct the transaction. Set a policy to destroy information when you no longer need it. Run regular checks and take standard measures to protect your customers. 

Everyone Should Take Data Security Seriously

Every business owner, no matter how big or small their company is, should consider ways to circumvent cyberthieves. Talk to security experts and conduct audits to ensure your system is as protected as possible. Have a plan for what to do if the worst happens and data escapes into the hands of someone outside your company. With a little attention, you can rest easy knowing your customer information is at less risk.