How to maintain customers’ trust in data privacy during a pandemic

03 May 2020 0 minutes to read Contributors

data privacy

As with so many areas of our lives, Coronavirus is forcing many people to confront difficult questions about data security. Even privacy-conscious countries are considering mobile phone apps that would trace the contacts of anyone infected with Covid-19. The resulting media scrutiny is highlighting public suspicions about how companies and governments use their data.  

Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure your organization has the appropriate security methods in place.

Data masking could be as important as face masks

Data masking shields confidential data from accidental and intentional threats, and reduces the risk of data breaches. For example, it can protect sensitive healthcare information even when it is outsourced for research, testing and development. Importantly, data masking can be done dynamically in real time; so unauthorized users can’t view sensitive information held in your database.

Maintaining data security for home workers

Home working will be the ‘new normal’ for many people for at least the next few months. To keep your database environment as secure as possible, you should advise your employees to use a secure VPN provided by your company, rather than a public hotspot. You may also want to review privacy levels and security rights; only those who need to view the data should have access.

If your teams are using multiple devices, such as mobiles and tablets, ask them to specify which ones they are using so they can all be made compliant with your company security rules. There are a number of options available to do this. For example, you could install software to block certain apps on every company phone.  

Training your team to always save documents to your company network, rather than locally on their personal laptop, is also a smart move. They benefit because it means they can be sure they’re always working on the latest version of the document. More importantly, if they are dealing with any sensitive data, they should never be working on their potentially unsecured local drive.

Tracking the health of your database

Your Database Administrator or virtual DBA should regularly audit and update your remote working and data privacy compliance policies and ensure everyone is kept up-to-date in online team meetings. They can also alert you to any security breaches and potential threats. A 24/7 monitoring tool will also ensure your infrastructure and database environment are maintained effectively. 

Alongside many other issues, Covid-19 is proving to be a test of public confidence in data privacy. The debate over the balance between wider health interests and individual privacy will continue. But, whatever happens, the stakes are high and all organizations must get this right.

If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of your data security, please get in touch.

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