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Jamie Bsales

The Insider’s Guide to Cybersecurity: Data Privacy Week Kicks Off with a Massive Breach

National Cybersecurity Alliance Data Privacy Week coincides with a breach of 26 billion records

Jan 22, 2024 7:00:00 PM


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Running from January 22 through January 27, the online event will emphasize the critical significance of digital privacy for both consumers and businesses through a series of educational webinars featuring experts from various industries.


The message is a timely one: Cybersecurity vendor Security Discovery uncovered a pool of 26 billion—yes, with a “b”—records that had been aggregated by bad actors for cybercriminals to easily access. The company reports that the exact nature of the records is unclear, but they are likely to include usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information. And while the data set does not appear to include newly breached information, the sheer scope of the trove could be a boon to cybercriminals looking to engage in identity theft, sophisticated phishing schemes, targeted cyberattacks, and unauthorized access to personal accounts.


The NCA’s virtual events (dubbed “Talking Data”) are billed as a series of conversations about how to keep your data private. Topics include:

  • Avoid Sharing Data by Jennifer Mahoney, Manager of Data Governance, Privacy and Protection at Optiv Security.
  • Give Data Brokers the Slip by Alan Smith, Manager, Community Leadership, Consumer Reports; and Don Marti, Vice President, Ecosystem Innovation, Raptive.
  • Protect Kids’ Privacy by Kalinda Raina, Vice President, Chief Privacy Officer, LinkedIn; and Lisa Plaggemier, Executive Director, National Cybersecurity Alliance.
  • Privacy and the Law by John Elliott, Author, Pluralsight; Brandon Pugh, Director, Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats, R Street Institute; and Divya Sridhar, Director, Privacy Initiatives, BBB National Programs.
  • Privacy on the AI Frontiers by Laura Gardner Rogers, Senior Corporate Counsel, Privacy, Safety, and Regulatory Affairs, Microsoft; Arjun Bhatnagar, CEO, Cloaked; and Lisa Plaggemier.


“In today’s hyper-digital age, data privacy should be a top priority for every business, large and small,” noted the NCA’s Plaggemier. “Businesses can protect their data, and that of their customers, by adopting key best practices for managing and storing data.”


She noted that simple practices—such as routinely assessing IT infrastructure and software for vulnerabilities, backing up data remotely, and establishing access controls over files and systems—will go a long way in protecting your organization. These tactics also support more technical investments, such as implementing data encryption and intrusion detection solutions.


“Finally, because employees play a crucial role in defending against data breaches, businesses should adopt multi-factor authentication as a standard, provide ongoing cybersecurity training and set clear policies on external data sharing, creating an additional layer of defense,” Plaggemier added. “With vigilant IT security protocols, employee participation, and cutting-edge technologies, businesses can create a multilayered security approach to safeguard sensitive data.”


What better time than this week to dig into your data privacy research and strategy!


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