Picture this: the smell of fresh coffee wafts throughout your company’s headquarters. The conference room is aglow with 9 AM sunshine. The light from your MacBook emphasizes the worried face of your general counsel colleague as she addresses the room.
“We’ve had a cybersecurity incident,” she begins. Suddenly your coffee tastes like ash in your mouth.
“We’ve been notified,” she continues, “that our company information has been leaked onto the dark web. We have no plan for this.”
The room goes completely silent before bursting into 100 panicked voices.
What would you do?
The scenario above is an example of a "tabletop" exercise, an increasingly common activity that lawyers conduct to gauge what a company would do during a data security incident. They can range from simple to complicated scenarios and are most effective when highly customized to an individual organization's needs.
As the internet and social media have evolved over the years, the need for tabletop exercises and data privacy proactivity has become more relevant. Gone are the days of huge, clunky computers, losing a connection when your Mom picked up the landline, and early search engines (RIP Ask Jeeves.)
Fast forward to 2022. The internet and social media have advanced beyond our wildest imaginations, including phenomenons like intelligence algorithms, up-and-coming virtual reality platforms, and unsettling capabilities like deepfake videos. As these technologies evolve, so does corporate and government involvement in protecting user data and privacy.
GCs and legal counsel are relied upon for their data privacy expertise-especially when it comes to corporate reputation and cybersecurity. 2023 alone includes state-specific privacy regulatory changes, including the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), and the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA).
In addition to laws, companies have unique needs and challenges. So how do you establish what to focus on for upcoming regulatory changes?
Data privacy regulation is constantly changing, but it is possible to plan proactively. Here are practical tips for legal leaders at any organization to help navigate data privacy in 2023 and beyond:
Proactive Tip #1 - Perform Your Risk Audit
Just like people, companies are individuals. The security needs and vulnerabilities of a mid-size startup can look vastly different from an established enterprise organization. Developing a company profile will help you understand where you may be at risk. This step should include a deep dive into the data you are trying to protect and what your customers’ expectations are for that protection.
Proactive Tip #2 - Assemble Your Team
The Avengers are stronger together. The same concept applies to your organization when it comes to data protection. Consider working cross-functionally with teams who are also passionate about protecting your valuable data-especially your research and development teams. Other members of your organization can help solve problems that may not even occur to you.
Proactive Tip #3 - Enact Your Plan
Don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “good.” Establishing your data privacy plan in its infancy is a solid first step. Be mindful that it is a living, breathing plan that requires maintenance and constant monitoring. With the support of other teams and many small steps, you will be well on your way to achieving data security greatness.
Privacy is considered a civil right. Just like the internet has evolved from dial-up, MySpace profiles, and AOL messenger, so will data privacy regulations in 2023 and beyond.
Without a compliant contract lifecycle management tool, your contracts may be at risk when these 2023 data privacy regulations come to fruition. Appropriate cybersecurity for contract management is a key element you should be looking for with any CLM vendor.
LinkSquares can help you on your data privacy journey. Our products streamline your contract workflows, organize your contract repository, and flag any of your contracts with unseen liabilities.
Want to learn more? Schedule a demo with us today.
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