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The Era of the Technology Enabled DPO has Begun

Confucius once said ‘Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.’ One can only imagine Confucius’ reaction to a roundtable with a DPO, CISO and CIO in 2018. ‘You connected what, why?’ ‘You understand this behaviour, how?’ ‘Robots are storing information, why, how and where?’

Staring bleary-eyed back at Confucius the tech leaders might retort, ‘We aren’t making it complicated, we are the ones managing complexity.’

Herein lies the reality for the technology leader in 2018; the advance of technology lies outside of our control, and like the frog in the boiling pot, the heat to protect critical data is starting to bubble, with little support for upgrading the more resistant capabilities of those who find themselves in the pot.

In a search for that extra protection, DPOs in particular are turning to technology, and here’s how.

The Era of the Technology Enabled DPO has Begun

The 2018 EY-International Association of Privacy (IAPP) study showed that 56% of businesses believe they are not entirely GDPR compliant with 20% of businesses believing full compliance is impossible.

To understand how DPOs are turning to technology to close the compliance gap, let’s look at how spending on data privacy/GDPR compliance has changed over the past few years.

The EY-IAPP report has a few telling statistics in this regard:

  • Amongst companies preparing for GDPR 57% are investing in technology in 2018, up from 27% in 2016.
  • 68% of programme leaders now say data inventory and mapping is a priority, up from 48% in 2016.
  • IT and Information Security are now responsible for housing 30% of GDPR/information governance programmes up from 14% in 2016.
  • Right to Be Forgotten and Subject Access Requests were voted the two most difficult GDPR obligations to fulfil. Both currently rely on manual data discovery processes across multiple applications and platforms.

The observed compliance gap, alongside the shift away from human-resource spending to technology spending, suggests that the problem of data discovery, compliance and security is one whose solution supersedes the capabilities of even the best-intentioned human resources.

At the same time the number of DPOs are on the rise, with DPO vacancies up a staggering 700% from 2 years ago.

We can learn two things from this:

  • Data Protection Officers are turning to technology to help discover and protect data
  • Despite the increase in technology uptake, the human role of directing technology is more important and involved than ever.

And so the era of the technology enabled DPO has begun. Fortunately, technology for DPOs seeks for the most part to automate manual process, making the marriage between humans and tech in data protection truly Cyborgian in nature.

This marriage should seem intuitive as the first role of any newly appointed DPO is to answer, ‘What data do I have? Where is it? Who has access to it? How is it secured?’. It’s unrealistic for Data Protection Officers to be literally hands-on with data in 2018 hence smart data discovery and control tools coming to the fore.

So what technology solutions can help?

Data discovery and compliance technologies like Exonar in the UK have emerged in the past 18 months with plug in and play solutions for automated enterprise data discovery where previously none existed. The solutions discover data automatically to create accurate, real-time, classified inventories of information that allow DPOs to see a full breakdown of data and its sensitivity across an organisation, enabling DPOs to govern and protect data effectively.

Through the marriage of DPOs and data discovery technologies, data protection programmes can instantly become much more achievable, accurate, and less work for those involved. The era of the technology enabled DPO has begun.

https://iapp.org/media/pdf/resource_center/IAPP_EY_Gov_Report_2018.pdf

John Tsopanis
Data and Privacy Director, Exonar

Exonar has the SARlution to Subject Access Requests

Newbury, UK, November 2018: Exonar has launched a new website to showcase its Case Management Module that can dramatically decrease the time and cost involved in processing Subject Access Requests (SARs).

SARlution demonstrates an easy way to deal with SARs by using Exonar’s platform to find all the necessary personal data digitally, understand how that data is processed and stored and create simple templates to complete SAR cases. The graphical dashboard shows how many SARs have been processed and how many are waiting to be processed and tracks the time to completion.

SARs can be expensive and disruptive to an organisation. To address this Exonar’s platform maintains an up-to-date index of all information. It uses machine learning to understand customer data in emails, databases, word documents and spreadsheets. It’s automated and intuitive, enabling rapid data collation to reduce the time required for processing SARs.

As an example of the complexity involved with completing requests, when an Exonar employee submitted a SAR to their bank – with whom they have been a customer for over 10 years – they received around 800 sheets in 15 reims of paper.

Adrian Barrett, CEO and founder of Exonar, said: “SARs can contain a huge amount of information, often filling two or more courier shipping boxes. Finding, collating and redacting all of this information can hit organisations hard in terms of both cost and time to complete. But the latest technology can dramatically reduce the complexity of dealing with requests, driving down the time required to complete requests from days to minutes.”

SARs and GDPR

SARs were first introduced by the 1998 Digital Protection Act. But since the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, the time that organisations have to complete requests has been cut from 40 days (as per the 1998 DPA) to one month. Organisations must also complete requests free of charge in most cases.

Failure to comply with requests or meet deadlines can expose organisations to new enforcement measures wielded by the UK’s Information Commissioner under the GDPR, including large fines.

But faced with these changes, many organisations will struggle to complete SARs due to the many systems, departments, processes, people and business units often involved when fulfilling a SAR. Exonar spoke to a previous SARs processor within the NHS about the challenges faced when dealing with Subject Access Requests in an under-resourced environment. Read the full article here: exo.nr/SARsNHS

The cost of compliance

The new guidelines present significant challenges to organisations that rely on old processes. For example, Exonar’s recent Freedom of Information research into how the public sector deals with SARs found that the average cost of processing a request is £145.46, but in some cases the cost was much higher such was the complexity of finding data and the associated administration.

The research also found that many organisations failed to meet the deadline for providing answers to its FOI requests (requests must be completed within 20 working days). The average response time was 24 days, highlighting the difficulty that many will face complying with requests under the new GDPR requirements.

Exonar’s platform solves these issues by discovering and offering instant visibility of sensitive data so organisations can complete SARs quickly, as well as improving risk management and cyber security.

Barrett concluded: “Exonar’s case management module offers a simple dashboard with a complete overview of SAR cases including detailed reporting and insight into bottlenecks. Easy to create templates allow untrained users to instantly find information related to an individual, and documents can be easily reviewed without the need to access the originals. It makes SAR processing simple and painless allowing the business to free up valuable personnel to focus on the business.”

About Exonar

Exonar solves a problem common to all organisations and their senior information owners, “I just don’t know what I’ve got”. Exonar finds and fixes an organisations’ information, from databases to documents – swiftly and at scale. We use machine learning to understand what’s important, where it is and who has access to it.

Exonar identifies documents containing passwords, customer and confidential information enabling successful governance, risk management, document retention, cyber security and compliance with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA – with ease.

We enable organisations to better organise their information, removing risk and making it more productive and secure. Visit us at sarlution.com to learn how your SAR process can made quicker, easier and much more cost effective.

GDPR Myths: The five most common myths

GDPR Myths: It was inevitable that once GDPR had made its grand entrance on May 25th, hearsay, speculation and scaremongering was going to dominate the headlines. Some of those stories are still circulating, however – NatWest have published an article that puts to bed 5 common myths around GDPR that all SME business owners should get clued up on.

This informative article also features a comment from our COO Julie Evans, speaking about the importance of data security in line with the new regulations.

Read More: exo.nr/GDPRmyths