The endless opportunities and benefits of the Internet continue to drive consumer engagement. Borderless enterprises now share data across the internet, interacting with consumers as well as third-party service providers. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is the currency of this new relationship. As it zips through the technology interchange, this in-transit data is vulnerable to misuse in the wrong hands. Heightened awareness of the risks pushes data protection and privacy into the limelight in 2016.
Around the world, legislators are implementing new laws to protect PII. In Australia the Data Breach Bill is only in draft format but Europe and the US enacted new data protection laws early in 2016.
The message is clear. In borderless enterprises, data needs to be kept safe no matter where it goes. Once personal data is out of the hands of consumers or citizens, organisations and public entities are responsible for the protection of this data to uphold privacy rights. This extends to supporting service providers such as payment processors, IT subcontractors, insurance companies, government agencies and cloud service providers.
Consumers are increasingly aware of the steps necessary to protect personal information: back-up data, create strong passwords, update to the latest versions of security software, operating systems, apps and web browsers. In their B2C Internet transactions, consumers want companies they can trust with their PII. Motherhood company statements about “respecting privacy” or “creating trust” don’t cut it. Consumers and citizens want demonstrable proof that their PII is safe in any commercial interaction. Any company that values its reputation and revenue must win consumer trust with action, and keep it with vigilance.
Data integration continues to grow relentlessly. New approaches and technical strategies are meeting challenges head-on. Business and IT decision makers have been proactive in their efforts to meet data protection regulations and expectations in the context of the borderless enterprise. Perimeter defence alone cannot prevail against the indistinct line between internal and external resources and the fluid nature of data in transit. Encryption continues to evolve, offering strong defences against unauthorised access to data.
Innovation in this area has generated new technology to meet the demands of this ever-fluid technology environment. Better, or new, encryption tools, analytics and reporting, perimeter security and file sharing solutions along with new technical expertise, promise the assurance of protection demanded by consumers and citizens.