Why Data Ethics Is a Growing CISO Priority

Published 11 - August - 2020
Source: Dark Reading
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With data collection growing, and increased concern about how it is handled, a synergy between security and data teams will be essential.

Data and its necessity in business is not a new phenomenon.  The collection and use of data to advance objectives has been an integral part of strategy for years – and it only continues to grow, right along with the data that fuels it. By 2025, IDC says worldwide data will grow 61% to 175 zettabytes.

But along with growing data collection and use, there are increased concerns about how companies are handling the data. As such, the role of the Chief Data Officer is finding its place in more organizations. A study by NewVantage Partners cited in Harvard Business Review reveals the number of companies with a CDO rose from 12% in 2012 to 68% in 2018. The same research also finds 55% of executives say data ethics is a top business priority.

“In these times of pandemic, personal data is being requested more frequently than ever before for track and trace purposes whether this be by your local restaurant, your medical practitioner or even your employer who may be taking personal medical information details around your health and well-being before allowing you back into the workplace,” says Steve Durbin, managing director of the Information Security Forum. “No wonder then that the ethical use of data is becoming more of a talking point.”

But how do these concerns intersect with the security team’s and CISO’s role as data protectors? How should security find its place into the conversation about data ethics?

“Security has always been intimately involved in taking responsibility for the confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of data and I do not see that changing,” says Durbin. “But as we move more into the realms of privacy by design, there will increasingly be a need for the CISO to be working closely with the Chief Data Officer.”