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Responding to the Inevitable Data Breach Print E-mail
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Source: CSO Online - Posted by Pax Dickinson   
Security "Experience makes it apparent that attempts to prevent data loss will ultimately fail," wrote Drew Robb in the September 19, 2005 issue of Computerworld magazine. The issue is not whether a business will experience a data breach triggering statutory disclosure obligations and subjecting it to public shame. Rather, the issue is how that business will respond when the inevitable happens. A statutorily-mandated breach disclosure will, for most companies, create a near-term public relations crisis. Fortunately for those who were not among the first to disclose data breaches under SB-1386, the experiences of those who were have created a template for how to respond. There are several key points to remember.

First, companies can take preventative action. Many companies within the last few years have created a chief privacy officer or similar position, even when data collection is not their core business. All substantial businesses should consider creating such a position, or at least tapping an existing corporate officer with the duties of such a position and including this position in her title. The very act of creating the position evidences heightened concern for data security and privacy. It also serves two practical ends. It sends a clear message to customers, as well as potential data thieves, that the company’s eye is on the data-security ball. If it is the job of no one in particular to keep an eye on that ball, it is more likely to hit the ground at some point. Having someone in charge who focuses on privacy and data security will certainly help avoid some problems that might otherwise arise. Also, ordaining a chief privacy officer may help address post-breach claims that a company cavalierly ignored the importance of privacy and data security. As with many other issues that create potential liability, it is important to have policies in place and be able to point to tangible actions taken to help minimize harm. The very existence of a chief privacy officer who manages policies aimed at preventing a breach may provide good defenses to claims asserted in the aftermath of a breach, either by the media or by lawyers.

Read this full article at CSO Online

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