Des Moines, Iowa – For the twelfth year in a row, Iowa’s governor has proclaimed January 28 to be Iowa Data Privacy Day. The 12 individual proclamations have been declared across three different governor terms, including two Republicans and one Democrat, demonstrating that privacy is an important bi-partisan issue of which every person should be concerned.
Within the 2021 proclamation, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds encourages more people in Iowa “to become aware of personal information privacy concerns and to take steps to protect their own privacy interests, as well as their personal information.”
Rebecca Herold, an IT security and privacy expert and CEO of The Privacy Professor consultancy, has worked with the Iowa Governor’s office each of the past twelve years to support the formal proclamations of Iowa Data Privacy Day.
“Personal data is worth more than gold to the criminals who use it to commit a wide range of identity fraud crimes,” said Herold. “Individuals whose personal data is used by criminals often must devote hundreds of hours to fixing resulting issues. And that’s when fixing them is even possible. Victims of stolen data also frequently lose large amounts of money and suffer negative impact to their credit scores.
“A lesser discussed outcome of personal data theft is reputation harm,” Herold added. “Activity by identity thieves often creates a false history, causing victims to lose out on employment opportunities or suffer the consequences of incorrect medical decisions, false accusations of crime and a long list of other harms.
“Every organization that collects, creates or otherwise accesses personal data must effectively secure that data and use it only as the associated individuals have consented it to be used,” continued Herold. “Importantly, every individual should hold the organizations they do business with accountable for strongly securing their information.”
Personal data privacy breaches are increasing exponentially, as are costly settlements by the organizations where breaches occur. As an example, Excellus Health Plan agreed on January 15, 2021, to pay a $5.1 million penalty to settle potential Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations related to a breach affecting more than 9.3 million people.
According to Herold, the cost of strengthening business safeguards and educating employees on those safeguards is small compared to the potential of penalty fines. Such efforts must be consistent and frequent, as new scams related to current world activities, such as COVID-19, continually pop up. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have each independently warned of such scams in recent months. By raising awareness of these scams, businesses and the general public gain valuable knowledge to help keep them from becoming victims.
Although remote work and social distancing requirements has complicated data security and privacy training within organizations, the challenges are not insurmountable. Herold explored solutions for hosting privacy-centric events during a pandemic in her latest episode of the podcast Data Security & Privacy with The Privacy Professor. Her guest on the show is Kim Hakim, a US Navy veteran and business leader focused on the cybersecurity space.
In honor of Iowa Data Privacy Day and International Data Privacy Day, which also is celebrated annually on January 28, Herold is launching a new business, Privacy & Security Brainiacs. The purpose of the company is to raise security and privacy awareness in organizations and the general public. The company will provide a wide variety of training and awareness products and activities, each priced to support businesses of all sizes. Privacy & Security Brainiacs will offer a wide variety of cybersecurity, privacy and compliance videos, e-books, podcasts and other products to support this goal, with new free offerings released every month.
About Rebecca Herold
RebeccaHerold provides information security, privacy, IT and compliance consulting and expert witness services to organizations of all sizes, in a wide range of industries, throughout the world. Aside from hosting the on-demand radio show and podcast Data Security & Privacy with The Privacy Professor, Herold is CEO of The Privacy Professor consultancy. Herold has built a loyal and growing global listenership for her show over the past two years. Its success is due in part to the diverse group of high-profile legal, information security and privacy experts who have served as guests.
To learn more, visit privacyguidance.com
About Privacy & Security Brainiacs
Rebecca Herold officially launches Privacy Security Brainiacs in partnership with her son Noah Herold on Data Privacy Day 2021. The online platform offers cybersecurity, privacy and compliance tools to help organizations of all sizes, in a wide range of industries, throughout the world. Privacy & Security Brainiacs provides online Software as a Service (SaaS) training modules, with business admin capabilities for organizations to assign and manage training for their employees. They also provide videos, podcasts, e-books, custom training, awareness events, and learning activities.
To learn more, visit privacysecuritybrainiacs.com