Security awareness

Celebrate Data Privacy Week: Free privacy and security awareness resources

January 20, 2023 by Jeff Peters

Data Privacy Day has traditionally been January 28, but this year it’s expanding. For 2023, we now have an entire Data Privacy Week.

Why the expansion? The community hopes to bring additional awareness to data privacy and cybersecurity, which is sorely needed. Whether you’re concerned about your own personal information or tasked with protecting an organization’s entire store of sensitive data, cybercriminals and other nefarious actors want that data — and they’ve never had so much available for the taking.

What data are they after? It’s another opportunity to share my favorite chart from the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR).

Chart showing the various types of data stolen over time. Credentials has risen from around 17% in 2017 to near 50% for 2020 and 2021. Payment card data has fallen from 20% in 2017 to below 10% in 2021. Personal data has remained fairly consistent at the 40-50% level over the same period.

As the report’s authors noted, payment data “has slowly declined over the past few years” due to additional security controls. “The top two data types are now Credentials and Personal data.”

“We’ve long held that Credentials are the favorite data type of criminal actors because they are so useful for masquerading as legitimate users on the system,” they wrote. “With regard to breaches, attackers are frequently exfiltrating Personal data, including email addresses, since it is useful for financial fraud. There is also a large market for their resale, which means they are truly the ‘gift’ that keeps on giving.”

So what can you do to keep your credentials and other personal data safe from these actors? We’ve rounded up a few of our most popular data privacy-related resources from the past few years. We encourage you to read, download, watch and share them with your family and peers.

1. Keep your personal data safe

Keeping your personal data safe starts with you. How much information are you exposing through social accounts and insecure phone settings? How deep is the potential treasure trove of old files stored on your devices? How does your cyber hygiene stack up against the criminals and bots trying to break into your accounts?

Download our free security awareness tip sheets for a quick playbook on staying cyber secure at work and home — from securing your home devices to understanding common phishing attacks and more.

See if you can take your biggest data privacy weakness (or a handful of them!) and turn it into a strength this year.

2. Keep your customers’ data safe

Cybersecurity is a team effort, and every employee has a part to play in protecting customer data. According to Osterman Research, 96% of security and IT leaders understand the importance of a strong cybersecurity culture, and that culture is often driven by security awareness training.

Learn more about building and optimizing a culture of cybersecurity with these free resources:

Need help getting started? Download our Level Up! Toolkit we built for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It includes a training module, assessment, posters, newsletter and more to help employees level up their skills around detecting cyber threats and keeping data safe.

3. Learn about data privacy careers

The demand for data privacy is also creating a wide variety of career opportunities — from teaching data privacy best practices to implementing a data privacy program to building data privacy into applications.

On our Cyber Work Podcast, we regularly speak with privacy practitioners about their roles and which data privacy career path may be right for you. Last year we even held a Cyber Work Live with three privacy experts discussing career options.

What is the best privacy certification for your career? | Cyber Work Live

Here are a few other episodes you may want to check out:

If you’re looking for technical training on implementing and managing a privacy program, check out our courses in Infosec Skills. You can learn directly from long-time data privacy practitioners, such as Ralph O’Brien, Chris Stevens, John Bandler, Starr McFarland — and more.

Stay safe!

Posted: January 20, 2023
Jeff Peters
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Jeff Peters is a communications professional with more than a decade of experience creating cybersecurity-related content. As the Director of Content and Brand Marketing at Infosec, he oversees the Infosec Resources website, the Cyber Work Podcast and Cyber Work Hacks series, and a variety of other content aimed at answering security awareness and technical cybersecurity training questions. His focus is on developing materials to help cybersecurity practitioners and leaders improve their skills, level up their careers and build stronger teams.