Why you need to start beefing up your data security

26 May, 2016
By G-Team in Technology
payroll data protection and security
Last month, 11 organisations in Singapore were fined by the Personal Data Protection Commission for breaching the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). These organisations failed to ensure robust data security measures on the personal data of its employees, thus resulting in the leakage of personal information on a publicly accessible website during the 2014 database breach.
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From the PDPC website, the PDPA "establishes a data protection law that comprises various rules governing the collection use, disclosure and care of personal data. It recognises both the rights of individuals to protect their personal data, including rights of access and correction, and the needs of organisations to collect, use or disclose personal data for legitimate and reasonable purposes." When the PDPA came into full effect in July 2014, companies are expected to adopt more stringent IT practices, to prevent leakage of sensitive information. Unfortunately, many organisations fail to recognise this need.

Loss of customer confidence

While the PDPA dictates that organisations should increase their data security measures, legislations alone cannot adequately secure personal data. This is especially critical for organisations that deal a lot with client's personal data, such as banks for instance. Even a single cyber attack can have very serious repercussions to the organisation. The relationship and trust with existing customers would have been damaged. Furthermore, this will reduce the organisation's ability to attract more customers. With the increasing skillful hacking attacks, organisations must beef up their online security measures to protect their customers' personal data.

Data Sharing

In our modern world today, data is increasingly being shared on the cloud. Due to the vast amount of information that is being shared on the cloud network, this makes cloud providers an attractive target to cyber hackers. More often than not, we hear of personal financial information, such as credit card details or numbers being leaked out. However, breaches involving more sensitive and highly confidential data such as government secrets or intellectual property can be have more devastating effects. Take for instance the breach of Hacking Team, which develops spy tools for government agencies, including software that can go past traditional anti-virus solutions. The breach revealed more than a million emails on the company's involvement with oppressive governments. This has landed a lot of governments around the globe in hot water.

Raise Security Awareness

In addition to deploying top security measures, organisations have to recognise that people can be both the strongest and weakest link when dealing with IT security. Companies have to invest in raising the security awareness amongst its employees and ensure continued strong and well-managed security measures to safeguard their organisation. While cybercriminals are constantly putting in more efforts to overcome that firewall security, companies should always go one step further and redouble efforts in reaction.

Here at Gpayroll, we take data security very seriously. Given that we are a payroll software provider, our database is bound to contain vast amounts of highly confidential data. Even with a strong firewall in place, clients have to do their part to ensure data security. One advice would be to implement a strong password. We are not talking about straightforward passwords like, "admin" but alpha-numeric passwords that make it even more difficult to guess. Remember, ensuring a strong data security is everyone's responsibility.