The bigger your organization, the more likely it is for sensitive information to leak or get out.
A workplace has more potential to face challenges due to diversity.
Integrity in the workplace can help you to make your workplace more secure.
This is possible through sensitivity training. Which aims to help team members understand group diversity and how it affects the work environment.
The training's purpose is to concentrate on individual development and to maintain a safe space.
It mainly addresses gender, ethnic sensitivity, and information sensitivity.
Below, we will explore what exactly information sensitivity means, what it includes with examples, and how to ensure its protection.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What Is Information Sensitivity?
- What Happens In The Case Of Data Breaches And The Risk of Sensitive Information Loss
- 4+ Ways And Best Practices To Protect And Secure Sensitive Information In Your Organization
What Is Information Sensitivity?
Workplaces are diverse more than ever.
And the diversity in a working environment demands privacy and security of both data and the team members' personal information in the workplace.
Information sensitivity refers to the ability to limit access to sensitive data or information that may influence the level of security or the ability of a company to compete if it is exposed.
Though, it’s worth noting sensitive information is different from public information. You can not access it from government records or unrestricted directories.
Now, let’s take a look at some examples of sensitive information to get an idea of how this works.
Sensitive information examples
Exercising discretion with sensitive information is a good idea.
You must secure sensitive information from illegal access and improper exposure for information security.
This means that disclosing sensitive data may negatively affect financial and even personal data.
Following are some common examples of sensitive information found in the workplace:
Business information includes data specific to a company, such as internal trade secrets, customer data, or financial data. It includes anything that, if get disclosed, can harm the company’s financial status and reputation.
As the name indicates, this type of information is linked with a person’s identity. If this information is breached it can lead to identity theft. Some common examples of personal information include, identity number, passport number, educational information, and protected health information.
Classified information comes at the government level. Breaching this information means endangering the international standing or government’s rules.
Highly sensitive information examples to be aware of:
A user ID and password, for example, are sensitive data.
Other types of highly sensitive information include:
- Employee information - Gender, home address, social security number, phone number, birthplace, health records, citizenship, ethnicity, veteran or disability status, and more.
- Financial information - Data collected in the course of trading a financial product or service. Such as ACH numbers and account balance, the number of bank accounts, credit card numbers, credit score, history of earnings, information on tax returns, and more.
- Other information - Medical records, insurance information, laboratory or health tests, tax forms, credit reports, and more.
Now, what happens if this kind of data gets out?
Let’s take a look.
What Happens In The Case Of Data Breaches And The Risk of Sensitive Information Loss
Many organizations face data loss and it adversely affects their operations.
Data loss puts a company at a huge loss. The company spends its major portion of resources and precious time retrieving sensitive data.
It is possible to recover or recreate hard copies but they lack the originality of digital data.
This is why it’s essential to find the reason for data loss. If it is caused by malware, it becomes difficult at times to assess the extent of data loss. And you’re at risk of repeating your mistakes.
Data loss by cyber attackers can lead to small to large disasters.
Though, you can stop the cyber attackers from using this sensitive information for nefarious purposes.
By following some methods to protect sensitive information, such as password protecting your PDF documents, using encryption software, and following other best cybersecurity practices.
The issue of data breaches continues to dominate news headlines worldwide. As data security has gained more attention, fraudsters are still exploring new ways to get access to sensitive data.
And in that case, here’s what happens if your data gets out.
What happens if sensitive data is stolen (risks and overview)
A lot might happen if your data gets out, depending on the kind of data and your company.
Here are a few examples of the risks that might follow data getting stolen.
Financial impact is one of the most serious issues that businesses confront. Therefore, it needs to be addressed properly.
Here are a few examples of the expenditures of financial impact:
- Consumer compensation.
- Legal fees.
- Breach investigation.
- Incident response operations.
- Investment in new security measures.
- And other regulatory penalties imposed for non-compliance with the GDPR are just a few examples of expenditures.
A data breach can have a significant influence on the stock price and valuation of a firm as well.
After Yahoo was hacked in 2013, this is exactly what happened. In 2016, the company was acquired by Verizon, a US telecommunications corporation, and the breach was revealed.
The deal was completed, with the company paying $4.48 billion for Yahoo, a savings of about $350 million over the original cost.
Sensitive information getting stolen can also harm your overall company reputation.
Another factor that contributes to negative publicity is that when an organization suffers from a data breach, they lose trust from customers. Thus, it leads to lasting damage to the reputation of the company.
Consumers understand the importance of their personal information. Businesses that fail to protect sensitive data would soon lose their place in the competitive market.
If this reputational harm persists for a long time, the company would lose its ability to attract new customers. Also, its future investments get affected.