Scaling Your Data Privacy Program

“Data Privacy” seems like a straightforward task: Understand the privacy regulations applicable to your organization and implement policies to achieve compliance. But the truth is, structuring your organization’s privacy program to simply check compliance boxes is short-sighted. Changing regulations and growing consumer awareness make it critical to address privacy from an on-going and holistic perspective.

In today’s climate of rapidly evolving regulations, lawyers have been tasked to determine how these regulations apply and affect organizations. While dissecting and understanding these regulations are a good start, the legal angle is only one facet. A holistic and multi-faceted look at privacy involves scrutinizing everything. This ranges from reviewing sales and marketing practices to product user-experience studies. In addition, implementing a thoughtful privacy program should naturally involve security and compliance teams, leveraging solutions that combine people, process, and technology. In fact, technology is the critical element that can help an organization scale a privacy program to address the changing regulatory climate.

Let’s take a closer look at how privacy, security, and compliance relate. Privacy is the written policy that an organization is promising to uphold. Security is the set of tools, processes, and people put in place to ensure the policy is upheld. Lastly, compliance is the set of controls or tests that prove limits are put in appropriately. Most organizations focus their efforts toward compliance since clear financial consequences result from not meeting requirements. However, as consumers learn more about privacy, poor perceptions of a company’s privacy practices are enough to damage a company’s reputation and even their bottom line. 

Many organizations invest substantially to meet these regulations, but many fail to address critical elements like the consistent, global enforcement of policy; the detailed compliance reports required for risk and audit teams; and the ongoing sustainment of a privacy program. All of these challenge their ability to scale compliance as regulations and customer perceptions continue to evolve. Establishing coherence between privacy, security, and legal teams is key for companies to successfully prepare for the ongoing effort of privacy.

Once synergy between privacy, security, and legal divisions is established, organizations should review how they leverage people, process, and technology to execute their privacy policy. Information security professionals have long recognized that an effective security framework is comprised of a three-legged stool that includes people, process, and technology. Privacy professionals, in contrast, have historically  relied more heavily on people and process. It’s now time to build a comprehensive privacy program leveraging technology that integrates with and reinforces your organization’s security framework. Best Practices for Data Privacy Programs is a guide developed by Ionic Security that helps practitioners find ways to introduce technology at the right points to help them scale their privacy programs.

How is privacy tackled from a holistic perspective? Where do you prioritize? What tools do you need? Look to adopt technologies that introduce scale into your operations.

Ionic has partnered with leading privacy vendor BigID, matching the impressive scale of BigID’s machine learning-based approach for classifying sensitive data with Machina, the massively-scalable data protection engine pioneered by Ionic. BigID automates the continuous process of locating personal data across an enterprise. Machina comes behind that effort to enforce appropriate use, protect sensitive data, and capture every successful or unsuccessful attempt to access the data with fully-auditable reports.

Scale your privacy program today with BigID and Ionic. Learn more, or contact us to get started.