Friday, 28 January 2022 12:33

Tech leaders make their World Data Privacy day thoughts public on Jan 28, 2022


It's World Data Privacy Day, during Privacy Awareness Week, with some top tech leaders making their thoughts public on how to stay private.

World Data Privacy Day is today, January 28, although the Office of The Australian Information Commission and Stay Safe Online are celebrating a data privacy week, and this year, individuals are encouraged to “Own Your Privacy” by learning more about how to help protect the valuable data that is online, and businesses to “Respect Privacy”.

So, what are some top tech leaders stating?

David Maunsell, CEO of Haventec states:


“Our lives have become increasingly dependent on online and digital interactions that generate massive amounts of data containing private information. We often see the responsibility of data privacy fall into the hands of consumers, expecting them to understand the intricacies of cyber security to protect themselves.”

“Meanwhile, regulatory bodies have called on businesses to know and respect their customer’s right’s while also protecting every bit of data they hold for their customers. Enterprises are resorting to increasingly complex and expensive mechanisms to protect sensitive information resulting in a poor customer experience.

"At Haventec, we believe it’s time we rethink the complexity of data privacy though the lens of human behaviour to create simple, secure, and safe digital experiences.”

“An integral part of this is elegant authentication which builds trust between consumers and businesses, and promotes use of digital channels. At Haventec, we have developed and validated technology which eliminates the weakest link in digital security, the password, and in turn removed the burden on both businesses and consumers of credential breaches and data loss.”

Meanwhile, Paul Davis, Area Vice President of ANZ at Confluent says:

“One of the biggest challenges businesses are facing today is keeping up with data privacy. With the never-ending software upgrades, patching systems, new government legislation and the evolving security threats they face, companies are always in a constant race to keep up.”

“This year, I believe that investing in cloud technology is highly advantageous when it comes to data security and privacy. As faster connections give rise to cloud computing, businesses can resolve security issues and stay on top of mechanisms quickly in complex and disconnected IT environments.”

“Additionally, investing in talent within the industry is often overlooked, similarly determining clear roles and responsibilities to hold people accountable and deliver the best services possible. Hiring a Data Protection Officer that provides strategic insight and oversees IT operations could set an organisation apart and ensure that the business stays ahead of the curve.”

Next is Gregg Ostrowzski, Executive CTO at Cisco AppDynamics, who shares:

"The AppDynamics App Attention Index 2021, showed that for consumers, security is the number one component of a high performing 'total application experience'. And 90% say that their expectation of brands to keep their data secure has increased since 2020.

"It goes to show that brands must go above and beyond to meet their users' expectations towards security. In this post-pandemic era, a strong security posture means organisations have the necessary processes in place to protect their applications and their business from vulnerabilities and threats. In a world where sensitive data is constantly at risk of being compromised by malicious actors, they must be prepared and strengthen their security posture, enabling them to predict, prevent and respond to threats.

"The DevSecOps methodology, a modern approach to software development, takes things a step further and incorporates security enhancements at the beginning of the application development lifecycle for a more proactive approach to reduce risks of threats to sensitive customer data. But in order for a DevSecOps approach to be fully effective, teams need to implement a full-stack observability solution.

"This approach will give them in-depth visibility into the entire IT stack, including traditional legacy systems through to new, native cloud environments as well as hybrid deployments. It is a vital step in the right direction."

Now comes Paul Lancaster, Director Pre Sales Engineering at Commvault, who explains:


“This Data Privacy Day is an opportunity for executives to evolve their understanding of data security, taking a renewed approach to how their organisations secure and recover assets.

“With data sprawl across on and off-site network environments growing, organisations must be proactive in how they approach the security of their systems. Conducting periodic 'fire drills' is one example, testing the strength, resilience, and speed of cyber defences and disaster recovery solutions. Business leaders may believe they have a robust strategy to fend off and recover from attacks; however, data integrity drills can confirm if these strategies are effective, ensuring critical information is always recovery ready.

“Additionally, addressing network visibility challenges must be top of mind for IT teams and executives. As companies shift from owned data management solutions to hybrid models, systems that provide insight into assets across networks are becoming critical to help drive efficiencies and provide early warnings of any issues.

“It's time business leaders adapt their understanding of security and recovery systems, shifting from infrastructure management to where solutions are deployed to drive outcomes for the business.

Now we turn to Guillaume Noé, Regional Cybersecurity Lead, Avanade Australia. 

"Data Privacy Day is celebrated each year on January 28. It commemorates the first international binding treaty to protect individuals’ data signed in 1981 by members of the Council of Europe. The treaty called for the right to personal data protection as a necessity to secure the human dignity, the protection of human rights, the fundamental freedoms of every individual, and the personal autonomy based on a person’s right to control their personal data and how it is processed.

"Today, Data Privacy Day has evolved in its scale, reach and recognition into 'an international effort to create awareness about the importance of respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust'. Such awareness is critical for individuals, governments and businesses in both physical and digital contexts.

"I believe digital privacy is equally important as physical privacy because the same human dignity and fundamental rights are at stake in a society where human interactions and communications are overwhelmingly processed with digital data.

"Personal data can also draw financial and reputational costs when mishandled.

"First, personal data can bear a direct monetary cost when stolen by cyber criminals seeking financial gains. In Australia alone and in 2021, the ACCC recorded 124,491 reports of personal information theft which accounted for a loss of over $33.9 million - an increase of 132% over the previous year (ACCC). The majority of the Australian workforce, aged 25-64, remains susceptible to phishing, identity theft, and hacks.

"Secondly, it can bear a financial cost for businesses when fined for breaching privacy regulations. The European Union (EU) has set clear examples of holding business accountable for their privacy obligations. Similarly, Australian businesses are not immune to the local and international application of privacy regulations. For example, they can be held liable for damages to their offshore counterparts under laws such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

"Finally, it has a reputational cost for individuals, government entities and businesses when mishandling the personal data that they either own or are entrusted to protect. Trust in businesses and government is fragile when it involves the protection of customers’ and citizens’ personal data.

"There is a need to reflect and raise awareness on personal data protection because data privacy will always be at risk, and the risk evolves with our society. This is why, on Data Privacy Day, I take the opportunity to reflect on respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust with better personal data handling - and I extend an invitation to all individuals, government entities and businesses to do the same."

We finish with Lana Xaochay, Data Privacy Officer at Ivanti:

“When the World Wide Web launched in the public domain on April 30, 1993, no one realised the sheer amount of personal information that would be stored and shared online. According to the World Economic Forum, it’s estimated that by 2025 there will be 463 exabytes of data created every day! This poses a challenge for organisations as managing data has become increasingly complex and governments around the world have tried to rein in what and how we share and store data.

"Data privacy concerns have been exacerbated by the pandemic as we have seen an uptick of ransomware and cybercrimes with bad actors taking advantage of the rapid shift to remote work, the increase in online deliveries and the proliferation of QR codes. The sheer amount of data we share about ourselves online is a privacy concern and more alarming is that many workers are using the same devices for personal and business activities.

"For this reason, it is critical for businesses to be able to manage all devices that access their network, along with effectively prioritising and remediating vulnerabilities that pose the most danger to their organisation.

"The Ransomware Spotlight Year End report released earlier this week underscores the need for organizations to address the rapidly evolving threat landscape, with a 29% increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware and a 25% increase in ransomware families the frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks that will only escalate.

"At Ivanti we continue to innovate and lock arms with our customers to help enable and secure the Everywhere Workplace. For instance, with Ivanti Neurons for Patch Management, which came out of beta a few days ago, we automate patch management for our customers and help them identify and patch their most critical vulnerabilities proactively.

"This is critical as a recent study that we conducted revealed that 71% of IT and security professionals found patching to be overly complex and time consuming. It is critical for businesses to have real-time intelligence on known exploits along with threat context for vulnerabilities so they can respond with more agility to the vulnerabilities that place their organisation at the greatest risk.”

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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