As a business owner, you have an ethical responsibility to protect your customer’s information and that of your employees. The information you may be collecting could be sensitive for various reasons. Maybe it falls under HIPAA. Perhaps it’s people’s home addresses. Or maybe it’s credit card or bank account information.
Whatever you are collecting through your business, your customers trust you to keep that information safe. Meanwhile, cyber threats are everywhere these days. Sometimes, you won’t find out your company was a victim until long after the attack happens. Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET) are a must for every business.
What is PET – Privacy Enhancing Technologies
Privacy Enhancing Technologies are still in their early stages, but already they are showing so much promise that the White House has created an interagency committee to develop a vision for the role this technology could play in the future.
PETs allow users to sort through data without identifying the personal information of the people from the data is coming.
How Does PET Work?
Typically, Privacy Enhancing Technologies use cryptography or other statistical techniques to obscure private information in the data collected. Not only does this help your business respect people’s privacy while analyzing the information you are collecting, but it also keeps would-be cybercriminals from gleaning valuable information if they were to hack into your computer.
There are many different types of PETs. They include:
- Encryption in transit and at rest – This is where the software converts the data into codes to keep it secure.
- Pseudonymization – Data is de-identified and replaced with pseudonyms.
- AI-generated synthetic data – The data is artificially generated to reflect the patterns and composition of the original dataset.
- Obfuscation – This is helpful if data has been lost or stolen. It makes the data in a log or profile misleading.
- Trusted execution environments – The data is inaccessible from the central processor keeping the communication between the two domains encrypted.
Differential privacy – This restriction on the algorithms will limit the impact on privacy for those whose information is in the database.
Why is it Important to You as a Small Business Owner?
Privacy Enhancing Technology is essential for any small business because it can help protect your company from costly data breaches. All it takes is one data breach to cost your business financially and its reputation.
On top of that, it allows your business to safely collaborate with others, such as companies that can use that data to help you build customer intelligence without compromising your customer’s privacy.
Depending on your business, this technology can help your company in various ways. For example, the data collected can give some businesses a better idea of supplies and inventory needed during different times of the year. Some will use it to provide themselves with a better look at their customer’s needs. And some businesses use it to get their customers to spend more money.
The Implications PET Has on Business
There are a lot of laws around privacy and data collection. For example, the E.U. had GDPR (which does affect you if you do business in Europe, even if your company is located in the U.S.). In the U.S., California has its own compliance version called the CCPA.
When you first look into it, it might seem like a hassle. But the technology created to work with compliance legislation can also help increase the data you are collecting while respecting your customer’s privacy. So it’s a win-win for everyone (except those pesky hackers).
Data Minimization and Tracking
With privacy-enhancing technologies, your business has a better grip on data minimization and data tracking. Basically, the more data you track, the bigger the risk for your business should there be a breach. So with PETs, you can reduce the information you are collecting and only focus on what you truly need.
IT Security for Your PET Needs
By now, you see the virtue of investing in privacy-enhancing technology for your business. But as a business owner, you probably don’t have the time to oversee all the ins and outs of it. This is where FUSE3 can help.
Not only can we help ensure your business follows all the latest laws and regulations regarding privacy, but we can also protect your business from cyber threats, such as malware.
Let us take care of your I.T. needs so you can focus on growing your business.