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January 28, 2013

Online Trust Alliance Announces 2013 Data Protection and Breach Readiness Guide

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) has unveiled an OTA 2013 Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide in recognition of Data Privacy Day (DPD).

OTA, working as a not-for-profit, is aimed at enhancing the online trust while promoting innovation and the vitality of the Internet. Company officials say their main agenda is to help educate businesses, policy makers and stakeholders while developing and advancing best practices and tools to enhance the protection of users' security, privacy and identity.

While giving importance to privacy and data protection, OTA analyzed more than 1,470 data loss incidents worldwide tracked by the Open Security Foundation that suggested that last year, 242.6 million records were indeed exposed.

In addition, more than 97 percent of the incidents could have been avoided by implementing simple steps and following best practices and internal controls. Along with this, more than 26 percent of the reported breaches happened due to employee threats or accidental disclosures, indicating a need for more internal controls and employee training.

"For many businesses, data is an increasingly vital asset," said Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen. "Companies need to protect their customers' personal information from theft that can hurt customers and harm the business's reputation. Because breaches may still occur even in the most security-conscious companies, however, it is also critical to have a plan for responding to data breaches before they happen. Putting together a response plan now may help reduce the impact of a data breach on a business and its customers later."

To make consumers aware of such threats, OTA’s new OTA 2013 Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide acts like a comprehensive guide to help businesses understand the evolving privacy landscape, and enhance data security to develop effective data loss incident plans.

Speaking on this occasion, Craig Spiezle, executive director and president of OTA, added, "Organizations of all sizes and in both the public and private sectors have an obligation to make privacy and data protection part of their value proposition. Being stewards of data and having a comprehensive data breach plan is the responsibility of every executive, who otherwise puts consumers, employees, companies and shareholders at an unacceptable risk."

The guide is available at

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker

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