We are entering the age where data is king. An age where the supercharged collection and processing of data can create powerful opportunities for businesses. But this is not without risk, and never before has the responsibility to ensure data security been more important for company directors.
With the digitisation of everything, data proliferation and rising threat of cyber security, directors and executives are increasingly required to see data security as more than a ‘tick the box’ exercise. In fact, data security and privacy should be a foundation of governance, control and management procedures across the organisation. Anything less, risks both loss of business opportunity and costly data breaches.
But just how prepared are your company’s directors in the event of a data breach? Do they know what questions to ask of executives to ensure your organisation is ‘response ready’?
Not surprisingly, data breach preparation was at the forefront of the most recent Australia Institute of Company Directors Governance Summit. While how to respond to a data breach’ was explored as part of a hypothetical scenario, the important message was ‘be prepared’.
As part of core governance practice, it is critical your company has a breach response strategy in place. In the event of a data breach, your directors and executives need to know what to do, roles and responsibilities must be assigned and timings set so your plan can be activated swiftly and decisively.
The time spent by an executive team, running a data breach scenario and going through the plan, is time well spent and yields multiple benefits in the event of a crisis. This kind of ‘response readiness’ also helps directors to discharge their privacy governance obligations.
A data breach response strategy goes hand in hand with proactive systems and measures to mitigate the risk of a data breach in the first place. This should also include having systematic practices in place to ensure data and documents are always securely destroyed.
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