What Is PII in Cyber Security?

By understanding the concept of PII, an organization will understand how to use Information Security A to properly store, process and manage PII data. Organizations use the concept of PII to understand what data they store, process, and manage that identifies individuals and may result in additional responsibilities, security requirements, and, in some cases, legal or compliance requirements.

In cyber security, PII is an acronym that stands for ‘Personally Identifiable Information. PII includes facts such as name, age, date of birth, and social security number. It is used to uniquely identify a person and its storage is often highly regulated under GDPR and HIPAA guidelines, among others.

Although PII has several formal definitions, in general, it is information that can be used by organizations, by itself or together with other information, to identify, contact, or locate an individual, or to identify an individual in context. Personal information (PII) is information that, when used alone or together with other relevant data, can identify an individual.

PII and Its Regulations in Various States

In Canada, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Privacy Act define “personal information” as data that, alone or in combination with other data, can identify an individual. In the European Union, Directive 95/46/EC defines “personal data” as information that can identify an individual through an identification number or specific factors of physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity.

In the United States, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Personally Identifiable Information (NIST) defines “personally identifiable” information such as name, social security number, and biometric data that can be used to distinguish between or trace individual identity. Personal information (PII) is data that can be used to identify, locate or associate with an individual and includes information such as name, date of birth, place of residence, credit card information, telephone number, race, gender, criminal history, age. , and medical records.

How Sensitive Information Is Defined

Sensitive personal information includes information such as Social Security numbers, passport details, bank or credit card information, and HIPAA-bound medical records. Organizations can scan and detect various types of PII, such as personal information (email, bank accounts, credit card numbers, etc.).

PII data can take many forms, including national identification numbers, driver’s license numbers, personal financial information, personal health information, credit card information, and many other types of information about individuals. PII can also refer to numerical identifiers such as biometrics, geographic location, user IDs, and IP addresses.

Such information includes biometric data, health information covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), financial personal information (PIFI), and unique identifiers such as passports or social security numbers. DHS defines personal information or PII as any information that directly or indirectly identifies an individual, including any information that is or may be associated with that individual, whether that individual is a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident, a visitor to United States, or a department employee or contractor.

Sensitive personal information is information whose disclosure could harm an individual in the event of a data breach. Confidential PII must be transferred and stored in a secure form, such as using encryption, as disclosure could harm a person.

Additional Definitions of Sensitive Information

According to Experian, confidential information refers to any information that has “legal, contractual, or ethical requirements for limited disclosure.” PII protection is essential for personal privacy, data privacy, data protection, information privacy and information security. Protecting PII is a core component of many data privacy regulations and is also a valuable way to earn customer trust—here are 10 steps to keep PII secure in your organization. Once you have identified all PII data held by your company, you can begin to implement a number of measures to protect this data.

Once you have a clear idea of ​​the types of PII you need to secure, figure out where that data is stored. When developing a PII protection plan, all three data states must be considered. For a robust data protection program, you can use this model for PII and all other types of sensitive business data.

There are many benefits to classifying PII held by companies, such as compliance, but data classification can also help organizations organize their data and help employees find the information they need to do their jobs. Every organization holds and uses PII, whether it is information about its employees or customers.

Every Business Must Protect Its PII

Understanding where this information is located and preventing unauthorized disclosure of PII data are steps that every business must take. It is important to distinguish between sensitive and non-confidential PII because sensitive information is subject to compliance standards and must be protected by various cybersecurity standards set by regulators. Just like the definitions for PII, what defines sensitive data does not have specific rules or standards.

Any information that can be used to distinguish one person from another and to de-anonymize previously anonymized data is considered PII. Companies that share customer data often use anonymization techniques to encrypt and obfuscate PII so it receives it in a non-personally identifiable form. Insurance companies that share their customer information with marketing companies. Information about your customers. The marketing company will mask sensitive personal information contained in the data, leaving only information relevant to the marketing company’s purposes.

Contractors have the ability to access alumni/donor PII such as name, home mailing address, personal phone number and financial account information. PII can be used alone or in conjunction with other relevant data to identify a person, and can include direct identifiers, such as passport details, which can uniquely identify a person, or quasi-identifiers, such as ethnicity, which can be combined with other quasi-identifiers In conjunction with.

An identifier, such as date of birth, used to successfully identify the person. To protect the privacy of personal information, organizations should use cybersecurity risk assessment, third-party risk management, vendor risk management, and information risk management. There is no doubt that businesses will invest in the way they collect data such as personal information (PII) to deliver products to consumers and maximize profits, but stricter regulations will be implemented in the coming years.

Gene Botkin

Gene is a graduate student in cybersecurity and AI at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Ongoing philosophy and theology student.

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