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Credit card and Social Security Numbers aren’t the only confidential information that need to be protected.
As more and more personal information is being stored online, cybercriminals can gain access to it and get a clearer picture of their victims. Whether the information is related to health, political views or any other thing, everything can be collected online. All this helps attacker to build a complete picture of the individual.
The largest data breaches so far, didn’t just involve data. Instead it exposed real names, email addresses, data of birth, contact number and answer to their security question. None of them disclosed Credit card details or Social Security Numbers but the other details that were revealed had devastating results.
This clearly states that hackers attack an organization not just to get their Credit Card number or Social Security Numbers. But they want other details too. Therefore, IT department should consider all data and information as important, not just financial data or Social Security Number.
Here in this article we will look at different types of non-financial data that need to be protected just as we guard our financial data.
1. Medical Information
After looking at the recent attacks and data breaches you must have understood how serious and important medical information is. We are here to remind you the same in case you have forgotten. With technological advancement things are changing, now your health records have more information than you can think.
Companies collect data of everything from weight loss to DNA tests everything, all which help to target an individual and design spear phishing campaign. So now you must have understood how important your health data is and why it should be protected. Even with these details they can unlock any biometric locked things.
2. Browser History
Where have you been these days? If anyone knows answer of this apart from you, then you can imagine what all they might know about you. Your digital footprints reveal a lot about you. This sensitive and confidential information attracts criminals therefore, it is well worth protecting.
The browser history that lives on your computer is very scary and spyware usually looks at these details. When a website or an organization uses tracking cookies to gather information related to your footprints then it becomes valuable and vulnerable.
3. Survey Data
The web today is full of surveys designed to collect your personal information. Recent example of which is Cambridge Analytica data collected via social media, Facebook.
Companies use this information for marketing and designing ads on the other hand criminals use the same information for spear phishing, spam mails and other types of attacks. Therefore, once any company has such data they should treat it as important and should take measures to protect it.
Nowadays everyone has the freedom to say what they want to via comments. Sometimes these comments look harsh, loud or ignorant but everyone likes to give them. They help to create a picture of an individual. This can be sensitive when it comes to targeting that individuals work, finances, or reputation.
Reputation is one factor that IT security rarely considers as crucial but it is very important. As this data is collected by every company to recruit a person, if it is damaged then his complete life can be ruined. Therefore, it needs to be protected and if companies want their employees to comment then they need to guard it from being stolen by criminals who can harm them.
5. Employment Details
How an employee performs, for how many hours he works, what skills does he have? All these details don’t have Social Security Number or bank account details attached, but they are still sensitive information.
This information helps to know a person and is critical from security point of view.
When it comes to protecting employee data, we focus only on information that has financial information or Social Security Number. But for a company all kind of information is sensitive and it must be secured as any information can be used to target an employee for intimidation, blackmail, or harassment. Thus, damaging individual’s image.
Besides this information many companies collect other personal information so that they can help their employee in difficult situations. If any such details are exposed then it will be huge breach in the company/employee relationship if that same information, through carelessness, were used to cause harm to the individual.
6. Big Data
It’s one major thing that every security firm knows but nobody pays attention to. We all know it is easy to collect data nowadays via social engineering and different ways. Companies do this for Big Data and to advertise their products but they forget to protect this sensitive data.
Some organization say it is difficult to hack Big Data stores as they are large in size and are complex, but there is no guarantee. Hacking groups target such data slowly and take control over all this information. Therefore, it is important to secure this information. Modern businesses run on diverse data types and IT needs to focus on all this data and secure it from getting into wrong hands.
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From ages IT industry has considered all these details as unimportant because for them only financial details and Social Security Number are of utmost importance. But this is wrong, keeping in mind what all is going around us we need to focus on all diverse areas and stay secure. It is not something that can be taken care of at a later time. We need to focus on it now as it is a major concern.