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Associations + personal data

IT security and risk management are important elements of day-to-day work for associations that process their members’ personal data in computer systems. Here we take a look at how your association balances data integrity and the processing of personal data.

An increase in globalisation and digitalisation has resulted in the creation of more potential attack surfaces. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks account for 90% of all cyber attacks. This represents a genuine threat to associations, as the attacks aim to prevent the function and routines of data systems when in use. With a large volume of personal data in a system or a database, associations must take measures. The prevailing situation in the external environment affects IT security, which makes it important to analyse what kinds of risk there are and how to limit them.

With the large number of personal data systems, an investment in a secure IT environment provides the
utmost level of reassurance

Invest in IT security training in your association

An initiative focusing on IT security does not just need to be about large financial investments. It is every bit as important to change the internal culture and to be sure to train employees in security issues. Associations such as the data protection association and the civil law association provide information and training in security for both employees and external persons. To succeed in negotiating many of the risks of breaches, internal training is crucial for IT security. In purely practical terms, your association should highlight issues relating to how attacks and breaches can be identified and how your employees can manage your computer systems securely.

Which attack surfaces hackers choose depends on which physical and virtual devices are visible. Complex systems can result in users having access to resources that they would not otherwise use in their daily work, which widens the attack surface for a hacker.

Read also: How to make uses aware of your it security

Secure infrastructure and architecture in an association’s IT environment

It’s often a leadership issue, so it’s up to various decision-makers in the association to make sure that the issue of security is prioritised. Even if the resources might be modest, there is significant value in investing in security services. An IT partner will often offer services to create a more secure IT environment. With the large volume of personal data that is processed in personal data systems, an investment in a secure IT environment provides the utmost level of reassurance.

Back up your association’s computer system

Prepare for the worst, but expect the best. Over the past year, several associations have been hit by data breaches. To prevent a disaster in the event of a possible breach, your association should make sure that your systems are connected to a backup system. As personal data is often stored in a central computer system, it’s important to be able to take control of the content if an attack does take place.

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