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Why CISOs Should Be Thinking About Data Privacy

Alicia diVittorio, April 27, 2023

If you’re a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or Chief Information Officer (CIO), you deeply understand the importance of data security. In 2022, data breaches, leakages, and exposures impacted 422 million people. In the U.S., a single data breach can cost a company close to $10 million

Keeping information safe and ensuring valuable company and customer data isn’t exposed in the event of a breach is a CISO’s purpose. So how does data privacy fit into the equation? And how do constantly evolving privacy laws affect you as a security officer?

The job of security is protecting information including the personal data of employees, clients, and customers. So, data privacy is a natural reflection of the responsibilities of security. Comprehensively securing your company means you’re also protecting the privacy of the many people — including employees, vendors, and customers — who make up your company. 

When it comes to security and privacy, you can’t afford to do one and disregard the other. In fact, by putting privacy first, you generate better security outcomes. This includes minimizing vulnerable data, encrypting information, and fostering internal transparency so that you know exactly what you know and can protect that information. When you prioritize privacy from the start, you understand your systems better and experience less risk.

Privacy: The Missing Piece in the Security Puzzle

The privacy landscape is constantly shifting as new regulations and laws emerge. In the U.S., nearly 20 states are considering some form of privacy legislation this year to preemptively safeguard the data of millions of users. 

Preemptively protecting employee and user data will strengthen your overall approach to risk management and security. To comply with data privacy laws, you need to know your unknowns. Familiarize yourself with all the data you hold across internal and external third-party systems in your tech stack. You also need to know the risk of processing that data and be prepared to delete it as needed with short notice. This legwork better prepares you to comply with privacy regulations, secure your organization, and limit overall risk.

The trick with fitting the privacy piece into the security puzzle is that organizations often don’t entirely know where their data is stored. Because every company works with an ecosystem of partners, contractors, and vendors with whom they may share data, they often lack full transparency. To provide employees and customers with the transparency they demand, a comprehensive understanding of your own data is essential.

How to Start Getting a Handle on Data Privacy 

Consumers are increasingly requesting that companies share what they know about them and delete their personal data. 2022 saw a 72% increase in the total average volume of data privacy requests compared to 2021. Consumers now expect companies to handle any personal information they provide with care and remove that information from all systems at their request. This level of scrutiny can’t be dealt with haphazardly or as a subset of security; organizations need to prioritize privacy and tackle it with a concerted approach. You must control and understand your tech stack and all the data that lives within it. 

Integrating a robust data privacy management program into your security and risk management system is essential to limiting legal exposure and maintaining customer and employee trust — a critical part of a healthy business.

It’s time for companies to adopt a proactive privacy posture. If you’re trying to protect your customer’s data in any way, that’s data privacy. Focusing on risk mitigation through a data privacy lens allows organizations to enter a more mature, secure state. However, doing this alone can quickly drain resources as it requires time, headcount, and constant iteration. 

This is why CISOs and CIOs are finding privacy partners to help them navigate an ever-changing landscape and bring clarity to what’s happening in their systems. Adding a strong data privacy solution to your tech stack will help alleviate the headache of getting compliant while identifying and limiting risks to make your organization’s overall security stronger.

How DataGrail Helps With Data Privacy

At DataGrail, we understand the data privacy challenges of today and we’re experts on how they’ll evolve tomorrow. Our platform eliminates complicated, manual, and time-consuming processes associated with emerging privacy laws and untangles your data to help bring clarity and organization with an easy-to-use privacy program.

With DataGrail you can:

If you’re ready to take control of your data privacy strategy, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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