Every day hackers attempt to steal vital business data from companies of all sizes and across all industries. In addition to stealing business data, cyber hackers also target personal information. As such, there are several industry-specific as well as country-specific privacy rules that must be followed if businesses want to keep this information safe and avoid hefty non-compliant fines.

How To Maintain Compliance with PIPEDA and Industry-Specific Legislation

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is a federal privacy law that applies to businesses within the private sector. This Act outlines the rules for how businesses should always handle personal information from employees as well as customers. To promote your business’ ethics and reputation, it is vital that you remain compliant with PIPEDA and an industry-specific legislation. A failure to remain compliant with the latter two entities can result in hefty fines and cause your customers to lose faith in your business.

Fortunately, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has several resources that can help your businesses remain compliant with PIPEDA. These resources include:

  • A Privacy Toolkit for Businesses;
  • PIPEDA Interpretation Bulletins;
  • Issue-specific Guidance for Businesses; and
  • PIPEDA Compliance and Training Tools.

In addition to the above resources, you can guarantee customer confidence by always remembering to follow these five best practice approaches for avoiding privacy complaints.

  1. Train all staff members about privacy, including information security best practices and incident handling. Through this training, employees should thoroughly understand their privacy protection responsibilities.
  2. Limit the collection of personal information, unless it is absolutely necessary.
  3. Be upfront about the use of any personal information that is collected. If you want to guarantee customer confidence, then it is far better to be completely transparent about why and how your business collects personal information.
  4. Always protect employee and customer personal information by using an activity logging and analysis program, encryption, and requiring the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on all work devices.
  5. Take responsibility for employee actions. Mistakes happen, however in order to maintain compliance with PIPEDA and industry-specific legislation it is vital that you always take responsibility for any mistakes that your employees make, especially when it comes to mishandling or failing to properly protect personal information.

3 Tips To Guard Against Fraudulent Phishing Attacks

Did you know that one of the top cyber defense strategies is to educate your employees about malware prevention? Often times malware is delivered via fraudulent phishing attacks. To avoid the potentially disastrous impact of these attacks, you should develop a culture of secure computing throughout your organization. This culture can be supported through the following three tips.

  1. Place An Emphasis On Password And Account Security. — Phishing attacks often prey on accounts with weak passwords or low security. To further secure your corporate and trade secrets, you need to ensure that anyone accessing your network, or sending emails with vital business information, leverages the proper password and account security protocols. Namely, passwords should contain at least one capitalized letter, be at least eight characters long, be entirely unique, contain at least one number, and be updated at least every six months. Accounts should be secured with two-step authentication, whereby a text or call is sent to a designated phone number before an employee can log into network services or their email. Finally, emails containing vital business information should use encryption. You want to ensure that these emails don’t fall into the wrong hands.
  2. Pay Close Attention To Shortened Links. — Employees and customers alike should pay close attention to shortened links. Often times phishing attacks will use shortened links, to cover their tracks. These links then send the recipient to a compromised site. In other instances, the shortened links actually contain malware, which is instantaneously downloaded as soon as the link is clicked.
  3. Use A Good Malware Detection Software. — All devices that are connected to your business’ network, or used to access business data, should use a good malware detection software. In the event of a phishing attack, this software is often the first line of defense to stopping the attack before it can reach its full potential. Additionally, this type of software can alert users when they are heading to compromised sites or unsecured sites that are lacking HTTPS and thus at a higher risk for being infiltrated by hackers.

Always Secure Your Corporate and Trade Secrets

All businesses rely on some form of digital communication, which means that every business must follow compliance and cyber security best practices. Through the right security policies you can help to protect your vital business data and trade secrets from falling into the wrong hands. As part of your security policies, you should require employees to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when they are not browsing on your secure in-office WiFi. A VPN offers anonymity and privacy when using a public Internet connection. Additionally, a VPN offers encrypted connections to ensure that any data stored on the device is not easily accessible to prying eyes or hacking attempts.

Another critical component of your cyber security policy should be to install an information security software solution that performs cyber security assessments as well as continuous threat monitoring. It’s no secret that cyber threats are a daily occurrence. A failure to implement a cyber security system that performs continuous monitoring is like leaving your front door open during the holidays. In other words, without continuous threat monitoring you are essentially inviting cyber hackers to try and steal your corporate and trade secrets. Through threat monitoring, you can enjoy the benefits of continual data analytics, respond in real-time to attacks, and discover operating system vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

Finally, if you want to ensure compliance and the use of cyber security best practices, then you should work with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) who can offer a customized approach to cyber security solutions and assessments. By understanding your business goals, completing data analytics, and conducting a network survey, AGMN Networks can best determine any operating system vulnerabilities and implement a cyber security solution that will keep your vital business data secure.

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