IDG Contributor Network: Cybersecurity outlook: data protection takes center stage

The Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit 2018 is coming up. Based on last year’s data breaches and how cyber security incidents have escalated in 2018, I would place a big bet that the talk coming out of the summit will be very heavy on the topic of data protection. Here’s why I think we’ll be talking data protection during and after the conference and what it could mean for your business.

The steady drumbeat of data breaches

Beyond the high-profile Equifax data breach, there is a long list of additional breach incidents from 2017. This is not a good look in terms of company brand and reputation, and corporate security and IT leaders are in the hot seat now. Detection, prevention, and mitigation strategies will be the focus as we move forward in 2018.

The data-inventory challenge

In recent years, organizations have struggled to get a good handle on where all their key data resides. With the rise of shadow IT in the cloud, this challenge only increases. An average organization can have hundreds of SaaS applications in use: what’s the likelihood the security team has a good inventory of the data stored within these applications?

The coming of GDPR

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now effective, impacting all companies that collect data on citizens in EU countries. The regulation includes provisions requiring businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens. The GDPR also requires companies to erase personal data upon request, known as the right to be forgotten. A recent survey found that 34% of British citizens say they plan to exercise their right to be forgotten when the GDPR takes effect. So, organizations will need to address a variety of data storage, protection, and deletion challenges. According to an Ovum report, about two-thirds of U.S. companies believe that the GDPR will require them to rethink their strategy in Europe.