Privacy Is an IT Pro’s Next Great Opportunity

Post Date: 03/06/2014
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(Note: This is a guest post by International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Publications Director Sam Pfeifle) So, you’re an IT professional and you’ve seen the mainstream explosion of interest in “privacy.” Odds are, you responded this way: “Eh, that’s just data security by another name. What’s the big deal? We’ve been doing that for years.” In some cases, there’s no doubt that’s true. It’s impossible to have good privacy practices without good data security practices. Privacy is more than just data security, though, and if you’re an IT professional, an understanding of the latest trends in privacy could serve you well as your career develops. As privacy becomes more of a business driver and is incorporated further into risk projections by corporate boards, those who understand privacy’s value to the enterprise and the potential for major repercussions if privacy is not properly considered will prove themselves invaluable to smart and growing organizations. This is particularly true for IT professionals because of their close relationship with an organization’s data on a daily basis. Not only is that data collected, created, stored and protected on platforms managed by the IT department, but IT professionals are seen as trusted advisors to people throughout an organization when it comes to tech decisions. While colleagues tasked with compliance duties or in the corporate counsel’s office might nominally be asked to tackle privacy as part of their job, it’s the IT pro who will likely implement the day-to-day mechanisms of data governance and protection. That’s why you IT folks should be pretty excited about the new AvePoint Privacy Impact Assessment (APIA) solution, which is distributed exclusively by the IAPP to members at no extra cost and supported by AvePoint. This is the frontlines! For those who haven’t done a privacy impact assessment (PIA), it’s a pretty simple concept: You look at a new product or service or operation within your company and ask a number of questions, usually developed by a privacy professional: What data are we collecting? Who has access to it? Where does it travel? Where is it stored? Like I said, it’s pretty simple. But you know how those lawyers can sometimes be. They put the questions in a Microsoft Word file and then email it out to a dozen people, who reply with a dozen versions, which then have to be compiled, where mistakes will be made and confusion will reign. It’s pretty archaic, really. But, with your help setting up APIA, the privacy team will now have a server-based piece of software where versioning will no longer be a problem. Roles can be assigned. History can be tracked. It’s actually, well, efficient! How about that? And it will be all thanks to you. So, why not suggest this to your privacy team? Let them know you care. Do it out of the kindness of your heart. I think you’ll find it makes your life a lot easier (and potentially avoids a data breach that costs your entire organization a ton of cash). Do you want to be part of the decision-making and problem-solving process or just be the person executing someone else’s plan? This new tool is your gateway to being part of the decision-making process. For more information and to download APIA today, please visit the IAPP Resource Center.

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