The case for privacy software: 6 reasons why you need to invest

The end of an excel era

There are a number of culprits responsible for the death of the spreadsheet in today’s privacy practices.

First, there’s enterprise data, which has become more voluminous and sprawling than ever. Next, you’ve got cybersecurity threats, with breaches at an all-time high and hackers adopting increasingly sophisticated or devious behaviors (according to FinTechNews, 85% of people posting puppy photos are apparently trying to scam you). 

Then there are issues of data-savvy customers and global privacy regulations, which place heavy financial, reputational, and legal pressures on any company that handles data. 

Against these progressively powerful factors, traditional and manual spreadsheet strategies no longer stand a chance. Particularly as privacy regulations are becoming more established and regulators more rigorous, smart businesses are realizing the important role privacy software plays in the fight against data anarchy.

While compliance is undoubtedly the main driver behind this wave of interest surrounding privacy software, the business benefits of privacy tools stretch far beyond this primary driver.

If you’re looking to build a case for investing in privacy software, you’ll find six of these major benefits below.

1. Increasing compliance

Keeping in line with GDPR and CCPA regulations is a complex task. One of the main ways companies can simplify compliance processes is to arm employees with the tools they need to track, organize, and manage the data they handle.

However, recent analysis of imposed GDPR fines suggests that many companies still don’t have sufficient resources or policies in place to manage their data effectively. In fact, according to Forrester’s alarmingly titled study, ‘Guess what? GDPR enforcement is on fire!’ failures of data governance have triggered more fines and penalties than security breaches. 

Forrester found that DPAs have primarily acted against the infringement of Article 5 (principles of processing of personal data) and Article 6 (lawfulness of processing), which cover issues such as fairness of processing and the amount of data a company collects from a customer.

The 2020 study also found that most current enforcement actions involved data access requests and data deletion issues. It highlighted a case in Germany where a property company was fined €14.5 million for its inability to delete customer data correctly. 

Combining automation, AI, and intuitive interfaces, the best privacy software companies give users clear visibility over how data moves through an organization. Unlike manual processes, which can be messy, time-consuming, and fail to match the speed and volume of enterprise data, privacy software such as Complyon makes it easy to discover exactly where data resides, as well as why, and by whom it’s processed.  

Ditching spreadsheets, Complyon’s privacy compliance software offers a multi-layer view of where your data and systems interact, providing a clear, visual overview that maps out data flows to allow employees to quickly locate files, provide documentation of their activity, identify risk, and isolate potential breaches. 

2. Safeguarding customer trust

Today’s customer, whether B2B or B2C, is far more interested in and knowledgeable about their data rights. 

As reported by Cisco’s consumer privacy survey, 84% of people care about the privacy of their data, with 80% stating they are willing to protect it and 48% indicating they’d already switched companies or providers due to poor data policies or sharing practices.

With customers demanding more trust and transparency, businesses need to respond to individual queries quickly, while offering total visibility over data storage, movement and archiving. 

Currently, this is not often the case. In Gartner’s 2019 Security and Risk Survey, two-thirds of respondents revealed it took them two weeks or more to respond to a single SRR. If you’re the customer in this scenario, two weeks is a long, frustrating time to wait for the information you need.

Through data mapping, privacy software gives you everything a customer needs to know about their data within a few moments. It can locate where a customer’s data is being stored, how it is being used, and who has come into contact with that data. 

By reducing response times to queries, privacy software helps maintain customer trust and loyalty, reassuring your customers that you know what you’re doing and that you take data protection as seriously as they do.

3. Uncovering new insights and trends

To work effectively, privacy software requires a business to collect all its data and collate it in one centralized location. This process means each department has to thoroughly examine the data it stores and manages, gathering information from a wide variety of sources.

Organizing decentralized data in this way is hugely beneficial. When an enterprise pools its data, it helps to break down data silos, potentially leading to valuable inter-departmental insights. For example, information gathered by a customer services team could help a marketing department tailor their messaging for more effective campaigns. Or, the product team could come up with a new feature following feedback received by their IT colleagues.

Similarly, at a department level, when privacy management software collates and centralizes information from every app, folder, desktop, and inbox, it becomes much easier to find deep insights and patterns in your data – particularly compared to if that data is dispersed or inaccessible. 

By implementing privacy software practices, vast volumes of data become meaningful assets, acting as a company’s secret weapon rather than their Achilles’ heel. You’re able to recognize trends that previously would have gone unnoticed, steering you towards more strategic, data-driven decisions. 

4. Improving third-party risk management 

According to Forrester, although third-party risk management is nothing new on the privacy scene, it’s set to be ‘the next big thing in the privacy arena.’

For anyone involved with managing third-party data, this prediction will come as no surprise. As watertight as your data policies and practices may be, if vendors, distributors, or any other partner falls short of your standards, they not only pose a potential security threat on your ecosystem but a risk to your company’s reputation. 

Privacy software tools offer businesses greater oversight and control over how partners store and process data, allowing for early detection of any compromising practices. For example, Complyon provides companies with the tools they need to work collaboratively with third parties, integrating external databases into one centralized system that incorporates third-party data processing agreements and inspections.

5. Recovering quicker from data breaches

While it’s true most GDPR fines have been triggered by data processing errors rather than data security, breaches are still a threat no organization can take for granted. 

This year alone has seen a 273% year-on-year increase of cyberattacks, with over 16 billion records exposed and high profile cases targeting global players such as Marriott, MGM resorts, Zoom, Nintendo, EasyJet and Twitter, which notably found hackers had accessed the accounts of top US figures, including Barack Obama, Joseph R. Biden Jr., Elon Musk, and Bill Gates.

Investing in privacy software doesn’t guarantee 100% immunity against cyberattacks. However, recent studies have shown that it does provide substantial benefits for breach prevention and management.  

For instance, out of the 2800 security professionals surveyed in Cisco’s Annual Cybersecurity Benchmark Study, those who worked at organizations with higher privacy investments were over twice as likely to be breach-free (28%). This higher accountability group also found the impact and cost of a breach to be significantly lower, with 19% less downtime from breaches, 28% fewer records impacted, and 10% lower breach costs. 

6. Boosting ROI on privacy spending

Another key finding from Cisco’s 2020 Cybersecurity Study is a handy benefit for anyone pitching for more budget for their privacy software investment. 

Analyzing data on privacy spending and benefits, Cisco’s report estimates that for every dollar of investment a company makes, it receives $2.70 worth of benefit. The study revealed that 47% of companies are seeing greater than twofold return on privacy investments, 33% are breaking even, and only 8% spent more than they are receiving back in benefits. 

Benefits included all points we’ve covered so far, as well as additional advantages such as achieving a competitive edge, enabling agility and innovation, and making a company more attractive to investors. 

Cisco was also quick to point out that returns didn’t vary significantly by company size. Although larger companies were indeed spending more, the ratio of benefits to spending was similar across all company sizes. 

Final thoughts on privacy software

In an age where privacy regulations (and enforcements) are ramping up, enterprise data is exploding in volume, and customers are increasingly data savvy, the case for investing in privacy management software has never been more pressing. 

With the ability to simplify compliance processes, retrieve valuable new insights, protect customer relationships and offer additional breach protection, there is no doubt that privacy software should be a key component of any tech stack that processes private data. 

If you’d like to learn more about how Complyon’s privacy software can benefit your business or would like to discuss software privacy issues in more detail, we’d love to talk. Simply contact us here and we’ll be in touch.

Buyer’s Guide: How to choose GDPR compliance software

A time-consuming process

GDPR compliance is undeniably complex. If you’re the one charged with keeping your company compliant, you’ll know managing the process can be time-consuming, complicated, and demands constant attention – particularly if you’re handling large amounts of data.

Luckily, there is no shortage of solutions such as GDPR compliance software that make managing customer data and data security both easy and effective. In fact, to match 2022’s estimated $8 billion global spending on compliance tooling, the booming compliance software market is set to exceed a staggering $4.36 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 24.3% over the next five years. 

While the ability to streamline GDPR processes well beyond “Excel sheets of the past” is excellent news for compliance managers, this ever-growing choice of GDPR compliance tools can be overwhelming. How do you know which solution is the best GDPR software for your company? Which modules should you invest in now? Which platform will give you an edge over competitors?

To help you navigate an investment that will completely transform your GDPR practices, we’ve put together a handy buyer’s guide for GDPR compliance software. From budgets to essential features, below, we’ll walk you through the key factors to consider before making your purchase.

Assess your internal needs

Before you start researching different  GDPR software solutions, you must have a clear understanding of what your company actually needs. Being aware of the challenges you face throughout the GDPR process allows you to gauge how effective, relevant, and necessary your chosen GDPR compliance software will be for your enterprise.

Start by identifying all areas that currently pose an obvious risk to your compliance process. Any solution or platform you consider should resolve the tasks directly affecting your compliance – whether that’s helping to prevent a potential data breach or providing clearer documentation of your data processes.

For example, a major issue for many organizations is handling subject right requests (SRRs). Under GDPR legislation, companies must respond to individual requests for personal data within a given timeframe. 

However, according to Gartner’s 2019 Security and Risk report, two-thirds of enterprises say it takes them two or more weeks to retrieve a single SRR. Usually relying on manual solutions, this essential GDPR activity then costs companies an average workflow cost of $1,400. 

So, not only is your customer waiting too long for their data, but you’re at risk of breaching a key GDPR legislation, and employees are wasting valuable time on a task easily solved by GDPR compliance software features such as data mapping.

Once you’ve created a list of urgent focus areas, move on to other tasks that slow down your workflow and need optimization. Are you taking too long to produce your Article 30 reports? Do you spend days instead of minutes trying to determine the links between different data sets? Is your working day spent chasing colleagues for their input and data? Could you benefit from expert-led consultancy services alongside GDPR or Privacy Management software?

By closely scrutinizing every task at each phase of your GDPR process, you can work out where you need the most support from tech-led GDPR solutions. It will help you determine if there are any features you do or don’t need and ensure you match up your GDPR compliance software with your company’s needs. 

Add speaking to your colleagues to your GDPR compliance checklist 

Even if you’re part of a small team, your purchasing decision must consider any other department that deals with or is affected by company data. Failing to get input from your colleagues before signing a contract with a GDPR compliance software vendor may mean you overlook a feature that could enhance enterprise workflow or fill a gap in your GDPR process.

Take the sales team. According to Cisco’s 2020 Cybersecurity Benchmark Study, inefficiencies in GDPR processes lead to a large number of sales delays. Cisco roots these delays in issues caused when customers want to know vital information concerning their data, such as what data is being captured, how it is stored and transferred, and who has access to it. 

With this issue experienced by 62% of surveyed companies, the average delay was a long 4.2 weeks. While it’s great to know that so many companies prioritize data protection and security, we’re sure this statistic will be horrifying to most salespeople.

Despite these troublesome findings, the report remains optimistic on the subject of sales delays, stating:

Over time, we would expect both the percentages and average delays to drop as companies develop more mature processes to handle customers’ questions and integrate privacy processes into their sales cycles.

As highlighted by Cisco, if you want your whole enterprise to benefit from your GDPR compliance software investment, a depart-wide approach is the way to go.

Determine who will use your system

There’s also a more practical side to involving others in your purchasing decision. If you need multiple parties to contribute to GDPR processes, does your future platform facilitate effective collaboration? Is it user-friendly and suitable for a range of tech-literate employees? Will your provider offer free training or resources, so the job of training up colleagues doesn’t fall on you? How much will you be charged for adding more users to the system? Are you able to add external parties such as stakeholders or clients? 

Taking the time to work out who needs access to GDPR compliance software and how a platform will support these additional users will ensure you end up with a platform that works not just for your DPO but for your entire enterprise. It will also help you avoid any unexpected costs or burdens on your own workload.

Clarify your budget

Your budget will have a massive influence on the types of solutions you’re able to shortlist, so make sure you have a figure in mind before speaking to vendors.

If you’re not happy with the budget you’ve been given or feel that your company will experience far more benefits from a more advanced system, it’s worth putting together a case for investing more in your solution. Chances are, C-suite members may not be aware of the added benefits that GDPR compliance software can bring to the entire business. So far we’ve touched on how integrated GDPR solutions would generate higher revenue for sales teams, but with almost every department and employee creating and using data, the case for ROI can be argued across divisions such as legal, HR, marketing, and finance. 

Alongside gathering internal intel, check out the latest reports from established bodies such as GartnerForrester, and Cisco. Referring back to Cisco’s Annual Cybersecurity Benchmark Study, you’ll find a treasure trove of persuasive statistics and findings to support your push for more investment in GDPR compliance software. 

For example, out of the 2,500 organizations surveyed, the report outlined the percentage of companies getting significant benefits in each of the below areas following their investment in privacy practices: 

  • 71% mitigating losses from data breaches
  • 71% enabling agility and innovation
  • 72% achieving operational efficiency from data controls
  • 73% making the company more attractive to investors 
  • 74% building loyalty and trust with customers 

The study also found that companies who invested more in their privacy processes experienced greater benefits in the above categories than those who spent less. A case, if any, to up your budget spend on GDPR compliance software.  

You should also be prepared to field questions as to why your chosen software justifies an increased spend. Your vendor should be able to provide you with as many relevant stats, case studies, and feature benefits as you need to sway your budget holder towards higher investment and move them away from low-cost GDPR compliance software or free GDPR tools.

How Complyon’s GDPR compliance software simplifies your compliance process 

Complyon is designed to make the complex task of GDPR compliance easy. With a focus on interconnected data flows and strategic overviews, we provide you with the tools and expertise you need to turn compliance activity into an asset and advantage. 

With users able to choose from a range of modules, including our Core module, GDPR module, Risk and Control module, and Campaign module, our multi-dimensional solution caters to a range of company requirements and needs. Our platform offers bespoke and flexible options, whether you’re looking for GDPR compliance software for small businesses or more advanced GDPR tools required for global and large-scale companies.

When it comes to GDPR compliance software, the main features our clients benefit from include:

  • Simple yet sophisticated data-mapping: take the stress and hassle out of tracking your data, processes, and activities
  • Centralized data: crush data silos and pool all your company’s data, policies, and practices into one location 
  • Optimized data connectivity: trace all connections and relationships between your data for greater data control, management, and risk assessment
  • Instant report generation: create legally compliant reports such as Article 30 in just one click
  • Run essential CIAs: activate your Complyon GDPR compliance toolkit to protect your company from loss of confidentiality, loss of integrity, and loss of availability
  • Multi-user friendly interface: facilitate employee collaboration and user adoption with our intuitive, easy-to-use platform
  • Third-party monitoring: get greater oversight over partner activity
  • Future-proof scalability: safeguard your GDPR investment with a solution that expands as your company grows and space to add new processes and systems.
  • Workflow optimization: streamline internal GDPR and data processes enterprise-wide
  • Minimize risk: ensure control in all situations with our Risk and Control module
  • Tailor-made features: get bespoke GDPR compliance software functionalities to fit with your systems and data requirements

To find out more about how Complyon’s GDPR compliance software can simplify your data, privacy, and risk processes, contact us here.