Last week’s International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Privacy Academy was one of several I have attended over the last few years, and proved to have a different tenor than the others. It was the first such conference that purposefully targeted the traditional privacy professional, as well as the up-and-coming cloud security demographic, together in a single event (the event was co-hosted by IAPP and the Cloud Security Alliance, or CSA). This was reflected in the demographic of the vendors, with many more cloud security-based solution providers on the show floor, as well as the attendees themselves, with fewer suit-and-tie lawyers, and instead more technically-savvy security and privacy professionals.
The convergence of security and privacy is really no surprise, and I believe reflects the trend of how industries and their respective organizations are addressing potential risk within their companies. One cannot talk about privacy without invoking security – the enforcement of one is almost always dependent on the other.
The most common and prevalent theme of the event can be summed up on one short phrase: It’s All About The Data. No matter what the vertical, no matter what the prevailing or governing regulations, these commonalities exist across all industries:
- A company’s data is its most valuable asset
- This valuable asset must be protected and secured at all costs
- Data must be used intelligently and handled with appropriate care
- Data proliferation is wide-spread and growing, especially with the advent of cloud computing, applications, and storage
- Data proliferation is causing significant challenges to those tasked with securing that data
The bottom line is that data is today’s currency across all organization types. From the engineering of solutions, to the policies that are created to help govern and manage information collected by them, central to all of this is an almost zealous effort to help ensure that nobody ends up in the same unfortunate circumstances as recent newsmakers like Target or Home Depot. The costs go well beyond the objective dollar amounts associated with remediating a breach – brand integrity and customer loyalty are equally as affected, and arguably end up being more “expensive” to an organization in the long run.
This event further validated and underscored for me the need for the Compliance Solutions provided by AvePoint. We as a company are well positioned to provide security and safety in the face of the “perfect storm” many organizations are facing as they grapple with how to protect and secure data across their enterprise. There is no better time than the present to be able to talk about compliance, privacy, and security in all aspects of how an organization conducts its business, be it on-premises, in the cloud, or through social technologies. The need is great, and growing exponentially.