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5 reasons you need to hire a Chief Privacy Officer

Sarah K. White | Feb. 2, 2016
Businesses are increasingly relying on data, but they're overlooking another key aspect of data: privacy. In order to keep up with the growing regulations surrounding data privacy, it may be time to hire a Chief Privacy Officer.

Failure to meet these new requirements means businesses "could be fined up to 4 percent of annual global revenue if there are any serious data breaches," says Freji, "which is a serious hit to take if it can be avoided."

3. Mandated CPO

On the heels of Europe's GDPR comes another reason to hire a CPO. You might be legally required to have one. Part of the regulations include mandating that companies have a CPO, so if you do business in Europe, you may be on the hook to hire one of these professionals. "It's best to prepare now, as things are finalized and implemented across two years, instead of playing catch up. By then, it will be too late," says Freji.

4. Rising number of high-profile breaches

It's been hard to miss the number of high-profile data breaches over the last couple years. Companies from Sony to Target to Home Depot have faced PR nightmares thanks to data breaches. Although much of the enterprise world hinges on technology, there is still a lot of room for human error behind each computer screen. That's why, according to Freji, it's vital that companies hire a CPO to implement a strong and successful security strategy to help ensure business and customer data stays safe and secure.

"A CPO helps develop strategies to support how personally identifiable information is protected from these types of incidents, and can fully brief the c-suite on the issues -- both technical and business -- which could arise from a breach," she says.

4. Avoid a PR nightmare

Having a proactive strategy in place to protect against a security breach isn't only smart to protect data, but also your brand reputation. Freji points out that data breaches are national news these days, and one bad data breach can mean a world of hurt when it comes to damaging your company's reputation. Since CEO's can't have their eye on everything, and CIOs are busy enough with IT, a CPO is the next logical step to help prevent a PR nightmare before it happens. Worst-case scenario, a CPO can at least work to diminish the effects of an attack and create a strategy to avoid future problems.


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