Another day, another breach. The Equifax credit data breach is just the latest in a series of stories about major organizations’ data being exposed. It happened to Target’s customer credit card database, it happened to Anthem’s health insurance records, and it even happened to the federal Office of Personnel Management’s background check forms. Even worse, these are just a handful of the biggest examples — critical servers and databases are compromised every single day. This problem is becoming even more frequent over time, and it’s safe to say it’ll get a lot worse before it gets better.
Anxious yet? Good. You should be. Security is no longer just a niche specialty of database admins and network engineers. Everyone who creates, manages, analyzes, or even just has access to data is a potential point of failure in an organization’s security plan. So if you use data which is at all sensitive — that is, any data you wouldn’t freely give out to any random stranger on the internet — then it’s your responsibility to make sure that data is protected appropriately.