Data Privacy and Business Leaders Today

Data privacy

Data fuels innovation, and it’s generated at near break-neck speeds. For businesses, this means having unprecedented access to understanding your customer’s needs. From evaluating behavioral economics to identifying a target audience for your next product launch, data drives decisions—and profit.

But data also has its limitations. Information about a single transaction can be duplicated across hundreds of repositories, making it difficult for companies to organize data meaningfully. It’s also becoming increasingly challenging to protect user privacy in a climate where online security threats are nearly ubiquitous. In 2018 alone, significant data breaches were reported almost every week, compromising the privacy of millions of people around the globe.

Many of these data breaches aren’t caused by hackers (although that’s also a concern). Often, the problem arises when companies sell data to a third party or simply don’t have the necessary security measures in place to protect their information. Even if you think criminals wouldn’t target your business, this doesn’t mean that your data is safe—or that you’re fulfilling your responsibility to your users to protect their information.

A Case Study in Data Privacy

To better understand how data impacts businesses and our members, Ivy Exec partnered with Integris Software to conduct a case study. We surveyed 258 respondents in the U.S. with mid- to senior-level positions at an organization with 500+ employees and at least $25 million in revenue each year. These respondents played functional roles in IT, general management, or risk and compliance and said they were at least “somewhat knowledgeable” about data privacy and security at their organization.

The results show that data exchange happens more frequently than a casual observer might expect. About 40% of respondents reported having 50 or more data sharing agreements in place. More data sharing also comes with additional security risks—and the need to be even more diligent about compliance and monitoring access.

As legislation continues to become more restrictive domestically and abroad, companies have also had to allocate more resources toward proving their compliance. About 68% of survey respondents said privacy concerns impact their reporting for regulatory compliance. Almost 57% cited cloud and app migrations as a specific point of interest related to data privacy and their company. At least half a dozen other concerns were also identified in the survey and range from data classification to enforcing policies and responding to breaches.

The results show the impact of data privacy concerns on business operations are far-reaching and complex. But up to 10% of survey respondents said it wasn’t clear which department was responsible for budgeting resources to pay for data privacy and security measures. It’s clear from the report companies are still defining their data collection, storage, and security policies, and more tools are needed to keep sensitive information protected.

By participating in the survey, Ivy Exec members are helping close the gap between theory and implementation. Thanks to input from our members paired with the professional insight and analysis from Integris, we’re proud to share the results of the Integris Software 2019 Data Privacy Maturity Study. To learn more about the study and its responses, click here. Integris Software helps businesses leverage data to drive innovation while still protecting consumer privacy rights. By partnering with Integris, we hope to create a safer online environment and help businesses use data responsibly and intelligently. 

Interested in learning more about the Internet of Things? Read what Columbia Business School has to say about smart tech.


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