Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

Tag: data privacy day

How to respect enrollee (data) privacy

2-minute read

According to a recent survey, 90% of people worry about their data privacy, yet most feel powerless to protect it. We don’t want you to feel this way when it comes to your enrollees’ data. While Delta Dental has cyber risk experts and safeguards in place to keep enrollee data secure when we’re handling it — including personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) — you can take some simple steps to keep enrollee data private when it’s in your hands too.

We asked some of our cyber risk specialists for their top tips to help you safeguard private enrollee data.

Keep (and share) only what’s needed
The more private enrollee data you have, the bigger the risk. If the data has already served its purpose and there isn’t an operational or legal need for it, it’s best to destroy it. The same principal applies when sharing sensitive information — send the minimum amount needed to get the job done.

Slow down, and check before you send
Before you transmit any private enrollee data, double check that you’re sending the correct information to the correct recipient. This may sound like common sense, but one of the most common types of privacy incidents is sending sensitive data to the wrong person — electronically or via snail mail. Be sure that you have the most current enrollee addresses, and always update any necessary partners who may also need them (like us!).

Build a strong virtual defense
Password protection is a key player, but it’s just one part of the privacy defense. Using a VPN for remote access, maintaining strong firewalls and conducting regular vulnerability scans are also crucial to data privacy. If you’re sending any sensitive data through email, be sure to do so safely, such as through secure file transfer processes (SFTPs). And don’t forget about that data when it’s not in transit — using encryption for data at rest adds an extra layer of defense. (Pro-tip: Never store private, sensitive data in your email.)  

Empower yourself and your team
Data privacy can seem overwhelming without the right training. Cyber risks are always evolving, like phishing scams that have gotten so advanced, it’s difficult for most people to spot a fake. That’s why it’s so important for anyone who handles PII or PHI to receive regular training to identify threats and keep enrollee private data safe.    

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Life hack: 3 ways to make cyber security a priority

Did you know January 28 is Data Privacy Day? If so, you’re an information security rock star! If not, no worries — we’ve got you covered with some quick tips to bring you up to cyber speed.

Woman using laptop

We’re no stranger to exploring information security — from awareness and compliance to prevention, we’re constantly adapting to an evolving cyber landscape. Here are some ways your business can make data protection a priority, too:

  1. Know the impact

As evidenced in the wake of recent data breaches, people aren’t happy when their personal data is exposed in cyber attacks. But did you know that 76% of consumers say they’d abandon a company that experiences multiple breaches?

  1. Make compliance cultural

Studies have proven that having a dedicated incident response team in the occasion of a breach can significantly lower the financial impact on an organization. But take it one step further! Share your organization’s prioritization of data privacy with all of your employees — because the more they care, the more likely they are to take care.

  1. Do the math

If you’re not sure how your organization stacks up against cyber threats, try plugging some information into this Cost of a Data Breach calculator, provided by IBM and Ponemon Institute.

The calculator takes your organization’s location, industry and security measures into account to a deliver an estimated impact to your bottom line in the event of a threat. Take special note of how some factors, like participation in threat sharing and employee training, can actually lower your estimated costs.

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