Published on November 17, 2023, 10:58 am

C-level executives in the field of information technology (IT), such as CIOs, CISOs, CTOs, and CDOs, hold significant responsibility for cybersecurity and data management. The security of our organization is paramount, as any breach can result in severe consequences. Similarly, the effective utilization of data is essential for making informed decisions and taking appropriate actions.

In this analysis, we will focus on two crucial IT positions: the Chief Data Officer (CDO) and the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). While their roles may seem conflicting at first glance, modern CDOs and CISOs should actually find themselves in agreement on various key points.

1. Encryption: It is imperative to encrypt data from its creation until its disposal. Whether it is data in motion or at rest, encryption ensures protection against unauthorized access. With modern advancements in encryption technology, there should be no compromise when it comes to implementing encryption measures.

2. Role-based access: Access to data should be granted based on an individual’s role within the organization. This means that individuals or systems only have access to data relevant to their specific responsibilities. Agreeing on this point eliminates any disagreement between CDOs and CISOs.

3. Zero trust security: This concept goes hand-in-hand with role-based access by emphasizing that no person or system should be inherently trusted. Instead, each type of access must be explicitly granted based on specific permissions. For example, an accounts payable clerk may have read-only access to certain documents unless the invoice amount exceeds a specified threshold. Implementing zero trust security measures enhances data protection and minimizes unauthorized use.

4. Data retention: There are two rules for data retention: never delete any data before it is necessary to do so and delete all data promptly when it is no longer needed. Historical data can provide valuable insights for analysis and decision-making while also fulfilling regulatory requirements. However, every piece of data retained also carries storage and security risks. The legal and compliance team usually takes ownership of establishing data retention policies, but CDOs and CISOs should collaborate with them to strike the right balance.

In today’s acceleration economy, where technology is advancing rapidly, CDOs and CISOs must work together closely. In the past, technological limitations may have led to disagreements between these roles, but now they are both key enablers of business success. By aligning their strategies for data management and cybersecurity, they can drive better decision-making while effectively managing risks.

In conclusion, the collaboration between CDOs and CISOs is crucial in ensuring a strong cybersecurity posture and maximizing the value of data within organizations. These positions should prioritize encryption, role-based access, zero trust security, and effective data retention practices. By embracing this alignment, organizations can safeguard their data assets while harnessing their full potential for growth and success.

This article was originally published on May 8, 2023 on Acceleration Economy.

For more cybersecurity insights, visit the Acceleration Economy Cybersecurity channel.

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