What Apple’s Privacy Message is Missing
The scene: a hip vintage music store. A young woman wanders the aisles, thumbing through the vinyl records. She’s clearly enjoying herself. As she takes in the displays, however, her eyes land on a set of doors across the room. On the doors hangs an odd sign that reads “Ellie’s Data Auction.” Ellie frowns, confused, and pushes through to investigate.
What she finds on the other side is indeed an auction, but also a dystopian world. A cast of nefarious characters gleefully vies to obtain her most personal information, from her purchase history to her location data to her emails and texts. Even contact details for her sweet nana!
But the bad guys have underestimated Ellie. She’s smart, savvy, and knows her power. She whips out her new iPhone and begins enabling its privacy and security features, blocking access to her data. One by one, the bad guys disintegrate until only Ellie remains, protected and secure. She smiles a satisfied smile. Fade to black.
Apple’s recent iPhone commercial expertly conveys the data privacy narrative from the consumer point of view, simplifying the story and highlighting a critical issue that users need to understand. We applaud Apple for driving this message and helping to educate people about the importance of data security.
Consumer privacy is growing ever more important, and rightly so. Yet, at the same time, consumers are expecting a level of personalization that, unbeknownst to them, demands that the enterprises delivering the services utilize and share customer data. For example, a patient undergoing cancer treatment needs their health data to be shared between the doctors, pharmacy, and insurance company to ensure holistic care. A person purchasing a home needs their data shared between the bank, title company and ratings agency to complete the transaction.
In reality, data sharing is required to deliver all the critical services consumers depend on every day. So where does this leave the modern-day enterprise, under pressure to protect customer data, but also to innovate and grow?
Security and Privacy Compliance Are Slowing Enterprise Transformation
Businesses are experiencing an ever-growing amount of data. In fact, in a recent IDC study, 50% of respondents indicated that the amount of data they handle is overwhelming. Businesses must manage this influx of data — while getting the most value out of it, securely.
To further complicate the matter, given the rise of cyberattacks and the complexities of today’s networks and regulatory environments, corporate decision makers are often highly risk averse. They may focus more on the dangers, real and perceived, of sharing their data than the powerful opportunity data sharing can deliver.
But the answer is not to lock data down. According to Gartner, organizations that share data externally with their partners generate three times more measurable economic benefit than their counterparts that do not. Businesses that undervalue or underutilize data, therefore, risk falling behind the innovation curve, losing competitiveness and missing opportunities.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that not sharing data presents a significant – and growing – risk to modern businesses.
Get the Balance Right
To drive intelligent transformation for the enterprise, sensitive data must be shared across and outside of an organization. But, if you’re deploying rigid security and compliance practices, you may be restricting where that data can be used. The need to protect your data must be balanced with accelerating data accessibility to propel the business forward and create new opportunities for innovation and growth.
By deploying enterprise-wide data protection policies that follow the data—whether it’s at rest, in motion, or in use—businesses can freely and securely leverage sensitive data for advanced analytics, machine learning, and AI without putting intellectual property or the personal information of customers and employees at risk.
For example, an organization can securely share a protected data set with a third party—such as a SaaS application, an analytics vendor, or a partner—in a manner that does not allow them to view the data but that still enables them to input it into their systems to improve algorithms and drive better business results.
The ability to protect kinetic data as it moves across the enterprise—while remaining compliant—is crucial. As new data privacy regulations emerge, data protection solutions must extend protection wherever data travels, across IT platforms, clouds, regional borders, and beyond. If you protect data at its source, it travels securely wherever you need to access it.
Unleash the Potential of Your Data – Without Compromising Security
With the right solution, you can now make your sensitive data accessible in the right hands—and almost impenetrable in the wrong ones.
Most data protection solutions are not built for flexibility, leaving gaps in coverage that can be exploited as data is shared. An effective solution must go beyond perimeter or endpoint security to provide organizations with precision control over how data is protected, and who can access it—not just at the file, but at the data element level. The protection process must deliver quantum-resistant data protection that is transparent to downstream systems and persists even if the data is exfiltrated and stored for future deciphering attempts. Applying Zero Trust Principles to data ensures data is protected at rest, in motion, and in use and is only reidentified by an authorized viewer just in time to complete their task.
And that’s especially important in today’s hybrid and remote working environment. Businesses that fully deployed zero trust security models lost up to 42.3% less in data breach costs. Applying zero trust principles to data through fine-grained data protection will improve this statistic even more. But, to operate smoothly, businesses must be able to empower their teams with the relevant data they need—instantly, without time-consuming manual checks and balances.
That means you can unleash the potential of your data—sharing it with the right people at the right time, while staying secure and compliant.
Gartner predicts that, through 2023, organizations that can instill digital trust will be able to participate in 50% more ecosystems, expanding their revenue generation opportunities. By using an intelligent solution that protects your data at the source, you can minimize security-related headaches while maximizing the potential of your digital transformation.
Security That Empowers Change
Traditional data security limits data access and use. Change your mindset and reset your expectations of what security can help you achieve.
Used correctly and securely, your data has the power to supercharge business growth. Businesses that meet the challenge — the ones that can share data while mitigating privacy risk — are innovating faster and driving opportunity.
About the author: Paul Mountford is Chief Executive Officer of Protegrity, Inc. Paul brings more than 30 years of experience in global software and technology innovation to the data security sector. Paul previously served as the COO at Pure Storage, one of the fastest-growing cloud data storage enterprises today. Prior that that, he held several senior executive positions at Cisco Systems, including heading Worldwide Channels, Emerging Markets and the Global Enterprise business, and served as CEO of Riverbed Technology and Sentillian Inc.