Managing data protection is a complex activity, often involving all departments within an organisation.  When building a strong compliance framework many factors need to be taken into consideration including people, processes and procedures.  Fortunately, there are now a wide variety of platforms and software solutions to help you manage all aspects of data protection.

Numerous ever-evolving options are available and new improved solutions are being developed all the time. Software platforms provide the visibility, automation, and record keeping you need to assist you to comply with the various laws and frameworks that apply to your organisation.  They can also provide you event notifications for responding to DSARs and handling data breaches for example.

You can operationalise your privacy, security and third-party risk programs from a single provider or choose different providers for different areas.

Having data protection software to help track, manage and organise data and processes is therefore a significant benefit for many organisations.  Cataloguing data on a structured platform means you can more easily provide centralised access to the appropriate people from across your organisation and provide quick access when and where they need it.  Organisations can monitor activities, investigate potential breaches, update records and make effective decisions more quickly and efficiently.

… but beware the limitations 

Whilst these tools and software platforms sound like the perfect solution to fixing the complexity of data protection, there are however, limitations to consider.

The different packages work in slightly different ways and some are better suited to certain industries and types of organisations than others.  They typically need to be set up and tailored to the specific requirements of your business – not all the modules offered may be necessary or appropriate for you.  Since standard industry-wide data protection definitions aren’t yet universally accepted, there are often non-standard terms which can be confusing especially when translating from American English to UK English.

A detailed understanding of the platform implementation requirements specific to your business and its own regulatory environment is really important from the outset when installing a new data protection platform.  A detailed knowledge of the platform’s capabilities and structure as well as the operations, organisation and personal data processed by your specific organisation is vital.

Privacy management tools will help you manage personal data and provide your DPO and senior management team with information to make risk-based decisions, however the tools themselves won’t make the decisions for you.

 How your Data Protection Officer can help

  • Selecting the right platform 

Having an experienced Data Protection Officer with a good knowledge of both your business and the choice of platforms available can help you find the right solution for your organisation and implement the platform correctly.

  • Ensuring a smooth implementation

One of the biggest challenges with data protection tools is implementation.  You must get the structure right from initial installation.  Poor or ill-informed decisions at the outset can result in the entire implementation proving ineffective and perpetually problematic.  Having an independent expert (not necessarily one provided by the vendor) such as a DPO advise you on a solution that suits your organisation, industry and the complexity of your data will help to ensure you implement the  right tool in the most appropriate way.

  • Ensuring compliance is at the core 

Software can prompt you for the information and personal data that you need to catalogue and input.

But software won’t confirm if there are any shortcomings in terms of the data’s accuracy, necessity, use or completeness.  Your privacy compliance team, led by your DPO, should be available to identify and correct any such shortcomings.  A good DPO will also advise you on the impact of changes within legislation, help deal with data breaches and provide expert data protection support.  This way you can ensure that compliance is at the core of your systems.

  • Using the software to make risk-based decisions

Decisions and recommendations around data protection are frequently not black and white, its often necessary to make risk-based decisions which consider the business context and your organisation’s appetite for risk.

Software enables you to benefit from greater visibility, automation, record keeping, process management, cookie compliance, breach response and much more.  But it is the compliance experts and your DPO who should interpret this information and provide recommendations on possible courses of action which consider the data subjects’ rights and the extent of any incident or management change.

In Summary 

Data protection and privacy management software can be an invaluable tool to help manage a compliance framework.  But having software alone is not the answer, your Data Protection Officer and compliance team are essential to setting up, monitoring and making risk-based decisions based on the data and information provided by the software.

The DPO Centre has an expert team of Data Protection Officers, experienced in working with a broad range of data protection tools and software platforms.

Our DPOs work on-site with you as invested members of your team, ensuring your data protection compliance by helping you to implement platforms such as these.  This in turn improves your organisation’s compliance, and makes you more organised, therefore removing the ongoing concerns involved, consistently reducing risk and ultimately improving engagement with your customers and stakeholders.

Enquire today by emailing to find out how we can make your life easier.