In recent weeks, we’ve shared shocking statistics about privacy incident management — as well as how privacy experts can upgrade their incident response programs. In this post, we look at the consistent benefits of proactive privacy incident management, according to research, real-world success stories, and industry experts.
1. Proactive privacy incident management crystalizes execution before, during, and after an incident.
The question isn’t if incidents will occur; it’s when. More than half of organizations in the U.S. have experienced a privacy incident in the last year, according to a 2021 survey from Ponemon Institute.
A proactive approach to incident management means your team has already thought through roles and responsibilities before an event occurs and enabled cross-functional collaboration to increase efficiency. Such an approach empowers the right people to lead appropriate communications — where different audiences receive proper levels of detail. For example, security teams need technical updates about tasks being performed and which remain open, while higher-level updates to c-level executives should focus on business implications and outcomes.
As Steve Mancini, Chief Information Security Officer from Eclypsium, said when discussing privacy incident management with our team: Successful privacy incident management boils down to preparation. When teams already have response “muscle memory” for repetitive tasks and operations, they can focus on the unique aspects of an incident (paraphrased).
Reduce your team’s routine work and help them focus on what inspires them.
Stop using spreadsheets, documents, and unwieldy ticketing systems for your incident readiness and response efforts.
2. Proactive incident response ensures compliance.
During incident resolution, each organization must be aware of regulations specific to their industry. For example, healthcare and financial industries must protect sensitive data, no matter what. Compliance requires knowledge of regulations like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Healthcare Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Location is another important factor in regulation. Australia’s hallmark legislation, for example, is 30 years old — but amendments are frequent. Privacy compliance means one thing according to New York’s SHIELD Act and another per Singapore’s PDPA. Meanwhile, China’s Personal Information Protection Law just came into effect this year.
Having proactive, dynamic incident management means your organization has the ability to get ahead of regulatory developments and remain in compliance at all moments.
3. Privacy incident management accelerates post-breach mitigation.
The average time to identify and contain a data breach is 280 days, according to another Ponemon Institute study. However, recent regulation requires incident reporting within as little as 24-48 hours. With a proactive incident response plan, expert teams craft detailed action plans ahead of privacy incidents, as well as prepare to be able to isolate affected areas and put recovery systems into place. All of these measures slash the time needed for incident response down to a matter of hours to ensure organizations can notify on time.
Quickly responding also can minimize operational downtime and ensure service continuity. When networks and applications are reliably secure, your organization can monitor progress and adjust accordingly.
4. Proactive privacy response is significantly more organized.
You might not be able to predict the timing of privacy incidents, but your team can architect a detailed, predictable plan. Such an actionable incident response plan can provide clear guidelines for employees on how to best handle each and every situation — and help them access and operationalize those guidelines in real-time with teams around the world.
Such organization can help mitigate risks before hackers can exploit them further, coordinating efforts between staff and other stakeholders, such as government regulators and law enforcement authorities.
Of course, having such playbooks saved as Word documents and PDFs has limited effectiveness. Anyone who assumes that incident response begins and ends with task assignment is missing the bigger picture. Privacy incident management solutions must create, leverage, and empower teams, using automation to embed expertise and contextual relationships into breach response or incident management.
5. Proactive privacy incident management builds customer and employee trust.
An effective incident response plan doesn’t just prepare an organization for the worst. Proactive privacy incident management also instills confidence and builds trust with customers, partners, and employees. Prepared privacy teams help the business demonstrate its power and agility by using dynamic plans and automated, actionable playbooks tailored for every possible event.
To operationalize these benefits, read “5 ways experts upgrade their privacy incident response programs.”