In today’s digital world, managing privacy risk has become essential for businesses of all sizes. With numerous global regulations that apply to data privacy and security, it is crucial for companies to proactively manage privacy risks before a crisis occurs. Waiting until after an accident occurs to put on a seatbelt is not wise, and the same holds true for privacy risk management.
Privacy risk management is a complex and challenging task, and organizations must start by getting a clear understanding of their data activities. Organizations must ask themselves several questions, such as where is their data stored, how is it used, and what is the risk level for each data activity? It is also essential to consider the different types of data that companies need to protect, such as customer information, intellectual property data, financial data, and employee data.
It is essential for businesses to implement privacy and security training for all employees, which should be embedded into company onboarding and consistently refreshed. Organizations should also limit employee access to sensitive data and customer information based on job scope. Even if businesses believe they are too small to be at risk, they must think proactively about data protection as society becomes more dependent on digital technologies.
To manage security and privacy risk, businesses can evaluate their current level of security and processes, embed security into software design and deployment life cycle. Organizations must also focus resources on high-risk areas and prioritize prevention, protection, and recovery measures for risks with high severity and high likelihood of occurring.
Privacy risk management can be a daunting task for organizations, but by dividing it into five key pillars, companies can make the process more manageable. These pillars are:
Wherever possible, businesses should automate these processes to help reduce errors and ensure that the organization is consistently managing privacy risks effectively. Additionally, automation can help to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of the risk management program.
Managing privacy risks is not just about technology and compliance. It is also about people and culture. Therefore, businesses must also focus on creating a culture of privacy and security. Employees must be made aware of the importance of data protection and the consequences of a breach. Additionally, businesses must create a privacy-focused culture that prioritizes data protection and promotes responsible data handling practices.
By proactively managing privacy risks, businesses can protect their customers, employees, intellectual property, and financial data. Businesses must implement a privacy program that identifies high-risk areas and prioritizes prevention and protection measures. Additionally, businesses must focus on creating a culture of privacy and security that promotes responsible data handling practices.
Ready to improve your privacy risk management strategy? Contact our team of privacy experts today for help.