How CISOs and CDOs Can [and Should] Partner to Strengthen Data Governance

Chief Data Officers (CDOs) are waking up to the fact that data breaches pose a significant threat to business. While, in recent years, many CDOs have primarily focused on pushing the boundaries of data usage to deliver bottom-line results, high profile incidents such as the Solarwinds hack along with increased regulatory scrutiny have inspired them to turn their attention to data security and privacy. 

Furthermore, data-powered innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) require security-first environments to function. As data quality is widely considered the most important requirement for using AI effectively, this remains true throughout the AI lifecycle from development to operationalization to monitoring. 

With this in mind, CDOs are increasingly focused on incorporating robust data governance frameworks into their long-term data and analytics strategies. The goal? As EY puts it, “But sitting at the center of this convergence is a utopian zone and one simple idea: trust in data. The sweet spot is a place where data is well managed, where the privacy of customers and suppliers is protected, and where cyber threats are minimized. And the person responsible for all three is the CDO.”

However, some critics of this approach say that, first of all, modern day CDOs don’t typically have the security expertise necessary to identify and incorporate effective data security-related strategies into data governance frameworks.

Secondly, even if they do, we’re still expecting too much from CDOs. According to a recent Harvard Business Review report, CDOs tend to have short tenures (2-3 years on average) and many find it difficult to excel at everything they’re asked to do. While these responsibilities range from serving as a data science mastermind to developing new data monetization schemes to evangelizing data ethics, they all require different backgrounds and conflicts of interest inevitably arise. 

By partnering together, CDOs and CISOs can develop data governance strategies that bolster innovation while minimizing risk. By lending their cyber security expertise, CISOs can help CDOs strengthen security controls for sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII) while also increasing access to other, more valuable types of data. 

On the flipside, by painting a clearer picture of who needs data when and why, partnering with the CDO can help CISOs further optimize multi-factor authentication (MFA). In addition, increased transparency can help security leaders more effectively categorize information based on sensitivity level and importance to the business. 

With long-term business resilience and the future of security-first augmented analytics in mind, we at Cyber Security Hub are excited to announce a new series of columns focused on the intersection of data security and dynamic business growth. Stay tuned for more over the upcoming weeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *