Collaboration Between Privacy and Security

Enhancing Collaboration Between Privacy and Security Teams: A Comprehensive Approach – In the digital age, the collaboration between privacy and security teams is not just beneficial—it’s imperative. Privacy and security, each with its unique strengths, are indispensable in creating a comprehensive approach to data stewardship. Their combined expertise can transform efficiency in compliance operations.

Understanding the Interplay of Privacy and Security

While distinct areas, privacy and security share a common goal: protecting information. Privacy programs focus on protecting personal data, ensuring compliance with laws, and upholding individual rights, whereas security programs aim to protect data from unauthorized access and cyber threats.

Challenges in Collaboration

Despite their overlapping goals, privacy and security teams often function separately due to their different expertise and day-to-day activities. This separation can lead to misconceptions, such as viewing privacy as a legal issue and security as a technological one. This siloed approach can hinder the identification of common grounds and opportunities for collaboration.

Strategies for Effective Collaboration

There is so much value in having privacy and security teams work together. Organizations that have made the effort have found more effective, efficient, and complete approaches to maintaining their compliance efforts.

  1. Shared Data Inventory: Building and maintaining a shared data inventory is a crucial collaboration point. This inventory helps both teams understand what information the organization holds and where it is stored, forming the foundation for implementing appropriate cybersecurity and privacy controls. If only Security or IT takes on the data inventory initiative, it may miss the opportunity to include critical details that allow for efficient privacy compliance requirements and quick regulatory reporting, such as producing a Record of Processing Activities (a requirement under Article 30 of the GDPR).
  2. Collaborative Compliance Efforts: Compliance with various regulations like HIPAA, PCI DSS, and state-level privacy laws requires input from both privacy and cybersecurity teams. Formalizing the structure of these efforts can pave the way for more collaborations.
  3. Cross-Populating Steering Committees: Mutual representation in each other’s steering committees or forming a broader information protection committee can help ensure that the objectives of both programs are considered and aligned.
  4. Creating a Common Framework: Adopting frameworks like those provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which considers privacy and security, can help the teams work towards the same goals with a common language.
  5. Establishing Integrated Teams: Forming integrated Privacy, IT, and security operations teams ensures alignment and accountability. These teams can collaboratively review policies and strategies, ensuring seamless and collective security deployment and avoiding duplication of efforts.
  6. Promoting Open Communication: An open-door policy within each of the organizations n encourages idea-sharing and problem-solving, fostering transparency and trust throughout the organization.
  7. Aligning Leadership Roles: The collaboration between Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and Chief Privacy Officers is vital. They can gain alignment, clarify roles and responsibilities, and reduce budget friction by working together. This collaboration is essential for making informed decisions that benefit the entire organization.
  8. Joint Presentation to Leadership: Aligning the presentation of challenges, progress, and needs to leadership bodies ensures that the company’s objectives are met and secures support from the top of the organization.

Thinking Ahead

Collaboration between privacy and security teams is a necessity and a strategic advantage. By breaking down silos, fostering mutual understanding, and working towards shared goals, organizations can enhance their data protection capabilities, comply with regulations, and build trust with customers and stakeholders.

Is your company prepared to navigate the maze of state privacy laws?

BlueSky Privacy can help you develop and implement a practical, step-by-step privacy plan that is aligned with your strategy and meets the unique needs of your business. Our team of experts can help you. Schedule your Privacy Compliance call here.

Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/blueskyprivacy/mycompany/