Data breaches can happen to any organization that collects or processes personal data, and they can have disastrous consequences. Just look at the latest Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM. It shows that the average cost of a data breach in 2023 was USD 4.45 million, a staggering 15% increase over 3 years. That’s not all. The report also reveals that data breaches hit harder for industries that had to pivot quickly to the pandemic, such as healthcare, retail, hospitality, and consumer manufacturing/distribution. And don’t forget the long-term impacts of data breaches on customer trust, brand reputation, and regulatory compliance.
But why are data breaches so costly? And what can you do to prevent them or minimize their impact? Let us learn it through this blog.
What Makes Data Breaches So Expensive?
- Detection and escalation: This includes the activities and resources required to identify and contain a data breach, such as forensic investigations, audits, crisis management, and legal fees. The faster you can detect and contain a breach, the lower the cost will be. However, this would also require having security tools and processes in place, as well as trained staff who can respond quickly.
- Notification: This includes the activities and resources required to inform the affected parties about a data breach, such as customers, employees, regulators, media, and third parties. Depending on the nature of the breach, you may have legal obligations to notify certain parties within a specific timeframe, or face penalties or lawsuits. Notification costs also include the expenses associated with providing assistance or compensation to the affected parties, such as credit monitoring, identity theft protection, or refunds.
- Post-breach response: This includes the activities and resources required to restore your normal operations and reputation after a data breach, such as repairing or replacing damaged systems, improving security measures, hiring consultants or PR firms, or facing regulatory fines or legal settlements. Post-breach response costs also include the potential loss of revenue or customers due to reduced trust or loyalty, as well as the loss of intellectual property or competitive advantage due to stolen or exposed data.
- Remote work impact: The rapid shift to remote work during the pandemic has also increased the cost of data breaches. According to IBM, breaches cost over $1 million more on average when remote work was indicated as a factor in the event. This is because remote work introduces new challenges and vulnerabilities for security, such as unsecured devices or networks, increased phishing or ransomware attacks, or lack of visibility or control over distributed data.
How Can a Certified Privacy Professional Help You?
A certified privacy professional is someone who has demonstrated their knowledge and skills in information privacy within a specific region or domain. For example, the CIPP/US certification by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) covers the principles and practices of privacy law and policy in the U.S. context.
A certified privacy professional can help you by:
- Assessing your privacy risks and compliance: A certified privacy professional can help you identify and evaluate your privacy risks and compliance obligations across different jurisdictions and regulations, such as GDPR3, CCPA4, HIPAA5, or PCI-DSS. They can also help you implement privacy policies and procedures that align with best practices and standards.
- Designing your privacy strategy and architecture: They can also help you integrate privacy into your product development and service delivery processes, using techniques such as privacy by design, data minimization, or pseudonymization.
- Managing your privacy incidents and breaches: A certified privacy professional can help you establish an incident response plan that defines roles and responsibilities, communication channels, escalation procedures, and remediation actions. They can help you coordinate with internal and external stakeholders, such as security teams, legal counsel, regulators, media, customers, or partners.
How to become a certified privacy professional?
- Choose your certification: Depending on your level of expertise and domain of interest, choose a certification program. For example, if you want to learn about the US private-sector laws and regulations related to data privacy, you can opt for the CIPP/US certification. If you want to learn about the European laws and regulations related to data privacy, you can opt for the CIPP/E certification. If you want to learn about the operational aspects of managing a privacy program, you can opt for the CIPM certification. If you want to learn about the Indian laws and regulations related to data privacy, you can opt for the DCPP certification.
- Enroll in a course: You can find various online or offline courses offered by different providers that suit your budget and schedule. You can also look for courses that are accredited by reputed organizations such as IAPP or DSCI.
- Study hard: To pass your certification exam, you can use various learning materials such as books, videos, podcasts, blogs etc. that are relevant to your certification. You can also practice with mock tests, quizzes etc. that are available online or offline.
- Take the exam: Take the exam that is administered by the organization that offers your certification. You can find the exam details such as the format, duration, fees, location etc. on the website of the organization. You can also book your exam slot online or offline. You need to score a minimum percentage of marks to pass the exam and get your certification.
- Maintain the Certification: Depending on your certification, you need to earn a certain number of education credits every year or two. You can earn them by attending webinars, workshops, conferences etc. that are related to data privacy or by paying a fee.
Thus, to prevent or mitigate data breaches, you need to hire or train certified privacy professionals who can implement effective privacy practices and policies in your organization. Certified privacy professionals can help you comply with the relevant laws and regulations, reduce the costs of data breaches and increase trust with customers and partners.
Rather than taking data privacy as a legal obligation, take it as a business opportunity. By hiring or training certified privacy professionals, you can protect your data from data breaches, and also create value for your customers and stakeholders.
If you’re interested in learning, I recommend checking out the Tsaaro Academy, where you can find courses and resources on data privacy and security.
Don’t wait for a data breach to happen, act now and become a certified privacy professional today.