Organizations struggle with push to encrypt personal data

In a move highlighting the necessity of strong data security regulations to ensure that businesses protect sensitive customer data, new laws beginning to take effect in several states in the United States show a growing trend towards requiring encryption.

Nevada was the first U.S. state to adopt new laws mandating better protection for customers’ digital confidential information, and all businesses within the state that are engaged in electronic transmission of certain personal information – including names and credit card numbers – must encrypt such transmissions. Massachusetts has recently enacted an even wider-encompassing data privacy and security measure. Michigan and Washington states are also considering similar regulations.

The laws present unexpected hardships for many. Charity organizations, which often store vast amounts of confidential information – including client names and addresses, as well as donor credit card information – are among those which face the most repercussions.

One such group is the Foundation for Positively Kids (FPK), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive care to medically dependent and terminally ill children in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lavasoft has taken steps to help by donating a license of its Privacy Toolbox software – which includes encryption and digital file shredding – for each of FPK’s office computers. To further assist non-profits that struggle meeting the new encryption mandates, Lavasoft has set up a special discount program for non-profits that allow these organizations to purchase necessary security software at half the regular cost.

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