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Increased Corporate Data Security Spending Underscores Need for Personal Data Protection

Data security is a task that only the government and business leaders need to worry about, right? Wrong! Corporate data security is very big business. The worldwide projected spend on information security products in 2018 is $114 billion in 2018, according to Gartner, 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 banking, discrete manufacturing, and federal/central government will top the charts in 2018.

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Managed security services will account for the largest technology category at $18 billion. Network security (hardware) will be the second largest technology category, while integration services comes in third.

As might be expected, the largest security solutions spend in 2018 will come from the United States at $38 billion. The United Kingdom will be next at $6.5 billion, followed by China ($6.0 billion). Large businesses, those with more than 500 employees, will account for about two-thirds of all corporate data security spend.

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:

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  • 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 6, 2018. 

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