Technology

Privacy Enhancing Technologies For Startups and Small Businesses

So, you’ve taken the leap and started up your own business. But, how do you ensure that your business’, employees’, and customers’ data is kept private? Let’s take a look.

Random Number Generation

As an entrepreneur, your startup might begin with only one or a handful of employees. With this in mind, you might find yourself outsourcing some of your services, or utilizing comprehensive online payment functionality. This means that customers may be handing over private information such as bank details, dates of birth, and so on, to people 9or algorithms) you don’t directly control. As such, protecting this data should be a primary concern – and that’s where random number generators (RNGs) come in.

RNGs essentially generate a random sequence of numbers that are not predetermined. In the entertainment industry, this is used to mimic the element of luck or chance in things like live casino games

, determining random results of poker, blackjack, roulette, and so on to ensure authentic and fair gameplay. In other words, it’s the digital equivalent of spinning a wheel, drawing a card, or rolling a dice.

In online security, the same RNGs can be used to encrypt data, scrambling the original numbers so that they cannot be understood by anyone who doesn’t have the necessary permissions. For example, customers will be directed to input their card details via their keypad or online.

A randomly generated version will be seen by the operator or yourself, but only the computer processing the payment and your bank will be able to decrypt the exact details, protecting customers’ data. The process, known as tokenization, is already widely used by mobile wallets such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Antivirus Software

Privacy Enhancing Technologies - anti virus software

Source: Pixabay

Protecting your laptop, PC, or phone from cyber criminals is one of the simplest ways to enhance privacy and protections within a business. Of course, when starting a business, this may not necessarily sound like an essential cost. However, taking this easily-overlooked step can help you to protect both your employees and your customers from falling victim to fraudsters and hackers.

According to data reported by CNBC, around 2.4 billion people in the US were victims of scams in 2022 alone. Not only this, but the aggregate loss from those scams amounted to almost 8.8 billion dollars. These scams are anything from investment scams to imposter scams, where the hackers pretend to be other people or businesses to get others to hand them over their money.

In other words, without robust antivirus and antimalware software, cybercriminals can hack into your computers and potentially access sensitive data pertaining to your employees, suppliers, stakeholders, and customers. Using this, they can impersonate the company and ask for them to hand over cash either as a fraudulent payment or investment. This has the potential to ruin any reputation – particularly if you’re only just starting out. With this in mind, something so simple as downloading comprehensive cybersecurity software is invaluable.

Final Thoughts

Privacy enhancing technologies are often an afterthought for businesses – especially when you have other priorities like when you’re just starting out, or you don’t think you have the funds to fork out for a comprehensive solution. That said, not only is data protection a requirement for any business, you might think of it as an investment in your future success, protecting your reputation and security in the long term.