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5 tips for an effective Privacy and Security Program

Governance Program

Bringing your privacy and security program to life involve turning the principles and activities outlined in the framework into concrete actions and processes that can be implemented in practice within your organisation.

This typically involves defining clear roles and responsibilities, establishing clear lines of communication and decision-making, and setting up systems and processes for monitoring and ultimately enforcing compliance with the governance framework.

These core activities are of course easier said than done, but here are 5 concrete steps that you can take to make it more likely that your privacy or security programs succeed.

1: Identify, map and engage with your key stakeholders

This includes identifying who has a vested interest in the governance framework, such as your board of directors, your organisation’s management team, praticular employee groups, customers, and others. Once, you have these identified, engage with them. Present to them your thoughts on how an effective privacy or security program should be implemented. Let them understand the different implications of the various options available. Get their buy-in and support.

2: Define clear roles and responsibilities

Clearly define the relevant organisational roles for your privacy or security program to succeed. This may require you to seek approval to define new roles in the organisation. Assign the necessary responsibilities to the roles, and have it anchored with your stakeholders, e.g. management. This is needed to ensure that everyone involved in implementing the governance framework understand their role, how they fit into the overall framework and that the organisational setup is supported by your management.

3: Establish clear lines of communication

Define your engagement model and follow through on it. Effective communication ensures that all involved parties understand their roles, and know what is expected from them.

4: Monitor and enforce compliance

Establish processes for monitoring and enforcing compliance as part of your privacy or security program, such as through recurring reporting, self-assessments, audits and other forms of oversight. And make sure to report on the status and success of your work to the stakeholders you defined as part of step 1 to make sure that issues are addressed swiftly and that your work stays on these stakeholder’s radar.

5: Review and update your privacy and security program on a yearly basis

Periodic reviews and updates to your privacy and security program will ensure that it remains relevant, effective, and that it is aligned with the changes and development that every organisation will experience.

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