Data security is a task that only the government and business leaders need to worry about, right? Wrong! Yes, corporate data security is very big business, with a spend of $82 billion in 2017 and growing, and major data breaches can be devastating. But data security needs to be personal, too. Everyone should understand the basics.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), when it comes to huge business spending growth on data security, three industries lead the way. Forecasts show that telecommunications (+11.2 percent), state and local government (+10.2 percent) and healthcare (+9.8 percent) will top the charts.
Managed security services, integration services and consulting will account for 38 percent of total data security spend at $31.2 billion. Network security (hardware and software) will be the largest security-related spend at $15.1 billion, while endpoint software comes in third at $10.2 billion.
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As might be expected, the largest corporate data security spend in 2017 will come from the United States at $36.9 billion. Western Europe will be next at $19.2 billion, followed by Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan). Large businesses, those with more than 500 employees, will account for about two-thirds of all data security spend. The amount is forecasted to exceed $50 billion by 2019.
That’s great, you say. It’s good to know that billions are being spent to improve corporate data security. But what about me? What should I be doing to safeguard myself, my family and even my company?
The good news is that tips to guard your data are readily available. When it comes to protecting sensitive data, we are all responsible, both at home and at work. You should be paying close attention. Nowadays, it seems like every piece of technology we deal with requires some type of data protection – your PC at home and at work, cameras, phones and maybe even the thermostat on your wall. All these devices carry information that, if compromised, can affect you, your family or your company. Here are some basic good habits to keep your data secure:
- Create and use strong passwords. Test their strength online.
- Consider using multifactor authentication for computer access.
- Lock your screen when you walk away from your computer or device.
- Beware of your surroundings, especially in public places. If you can see your screen, chances are others can, too.
- Don’t discuss personal information, projects, or customers in public places.
- Don’t wear a company badge or shirt away from work. Anonymity is better.
- Don’t give away more personal information than necessary on forms or applications. When in doubt, ask.
- Don’t hold on to information that is no longer needed (for example, sales slips, bills, or credit card receipts).
- Buy a home shredder and use it to destroy any paperwork that is sensitive or contains any form of personal or account information.
- Explore secure password storage and use it.
Big business spend can go a long way to improve overall corporate data security, but you are responsible for your own. Get paranoid, get informed and get going!
This post was originally published in 2017 and was updated December 14, 2017.