Life used to be so simple, according to Aberdeen research. Rather, regarding enterprise data privacy and compliance, things used to be simpler.

It used to be that you’d deny access by default and allow access by selective exception. Now, the context for protecting your enterprise data is “radically different,” said Vice President and Research Fellow Derek E. Brink in “The State of Privacy and Security Compliance for Enterprise Data.”

Enterprises these days report having a lot of types of data to manage, keep secure and private, and to keep compliant with various requirements. Of the 360 organizations Aberdeen studied:

  • two-thirds have 2 or more types of data,
  • half have more than 3, and
  • 10% of the respondents have 8 or more types of data.

As you might have imagined, the surveyed organizations had similar responses about how many types of their data-related processes are subject to compliance reporting and certification requirements: half have more than 2 and 10% have 7 or more.

Adding a layer of complexity to these heavily regulated types of enterprise data, respondents were 3x more likely to experience a year-over-year increase in the total number of compliance requirements for the privacy and security of their enterprise data.

This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise; these days, organizations are killing it by providing omni-channel customer experiences, customized products, and personalized, targeted marketing efforts. It makes sense that as they increase their own digital footprints, the variety of data they will own, transact, and need to maintain will also increase.

In other words, complexity isn’t a destroyer of successful and effective enterprise privacy and security compliance. Immature compliance initiatives that aren’t improved over time, however, indeed prove disappointingly ineffective.

Aberdeen research reveals strong evidence that immaturity at any point in the enterprise data lifecycle can lead to difficulty and challenges with keeping compliant with data security and privacy regulations. Over the last 12 months:

  • about 75% of enterprises experienced at least one non-compliance issue, and
  • about 58% of enterprises experienced at least one data breach.

While the evidence does not prove that immature data security and privacy initiatives are detrimental, it does find detriment when they are immature to the point of being ineffective.

Given the current proliferation of types of enterprise data and the total number of data security and privacy compliance regulations, organizations would do well to audit their compliance efforts and either start improving or start looking for a partner / provider to help on the journey to meeting and maintaining compliance.

The case for a third-party solution provider to manage a company’s data and data-related processes is downright compelling when weighing the complexity, costs, and consequences of the current state of enterprise data.

Company IT admins are smart and hard-working employees, but they aren’t necessarily specialists in data compliance, privacy, security. Company decision makers are astute and rife with business acumen, but are similarly not security or privacy compliance experts. Solution providers, however, have the specialized expertise and organizational focus to sustain compliance activities for privacy and security across the entire enterprise data lifecycle.

If you have enterprise data from multiple first-party sources, if you purchase intent data from a third-party provider, or if you work with data provider partners who deal with information from users within the European Union, you should ensure the longevity and quality of the investment by taking care of it. Likewise, protect your organization from the risk of a compliance-related penalty. if you want to explore how you can be the best steward of your all enterprise data.

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