Privacy Observability — Why Is It Needed Urgently?

Teck Wu4/4/2023 4 Min Read

Data here, data there. There is so much data in so many parts of the organization. As a compliance practitioner, how should you start with data privacy efforts for your organization?

Borneo recommends establishing Privacy Observability first.

But you may ask, what exactly is Privacy Observability?

Privacy Observability is a new concept that arose due to the changes in the landscape of compliance legislation, and the increasing complexities of privacy management in an organization.

Maybe you have heard of the terms Privacy Management and Data Observability:

  • Privacy Management: maintaining compliance with local and international legislations to protect individual data rights
  • Data Observability: to understand the health and state of your data and data systems, at any time and point in the data lifecycle

If we combine the two definitions, Privacy Observability is thus about addressing the growing complexities of privacy compliance management: the deep understanding and wide management of privacy compliance of your data and data systems (in real-time), at any time and point in the data lifecycle.

In a practical sense, Privacy Observability is about having the right tools to monitor all your data in real-time, to prevent both sensitive data mishandling and data leaks. It is about having better control and visibility of your sensitive data catalog as a data owner, so that you can make fast business decisions. It is what fast-moving teams require to resolve noncompliance swiftly and decisively without interference to business processes. For an organization dealing with sensitive information to accelerate while maintaining privacy compliance, having Privacy Observability enables the huddle of privacy management to be solved with glass-clear visibility and org-wide coverage, to match the growing scale of velocity and volume of data in the company.

But why do you need Privacy Observability?

According to Cisco 2022 Data Privacy Benchmark, investing in privacy is a great way to get a return on the investment. Privacy mature companies get 28% more ROI than those that aren't.

On a broad level, it is to have full privacy compliance coverage of every individual touchpoint of your data throughout your organization, from collection/creation, storage, usage, analytics, to destruction. Every touchpoint will likely have a different data owner, and each data owner, likely at every compliance audit cycle, has to work with the compliance team individually to ensure their touchpoint is fully compliant. It is a level of complexity that if not managed well, will drastically slow down business processes.

(The Data Life Cycle, from What is Data Lifecycle Management? and What phases would it pass through?)

It is also to allow more control for a data owner over their data: instead of having to go back and forth with the compliance team on highly frustrating specifics of securing your data stores, a privacy observability tool will allow you to drive compliance in a non-invasive and automated manner, and according to the latest compliance standards. With privacy observability, you get to operate your business processes smoothly, while the compliance team gets the reporting and assurance they need --- a win-win situation.

Having control also means empowering a privacy-first engineering approach towards building systems. This means for engineers building systems that potentially involve sensitive personal information, Privacy Observability tools ensure that their systems are always up-to-standard in privacy compliance. This also means much less privacy debt down the road. Just like having good engineering practices, pre-hook checks, linters, and CI/CD tools ensure low tech debt, having good privacy engineering tooling and practices will help assure your products have low privacy debt in the long-run, a significant ROI to your privacy investment.

(Privacy Data Intelligence, for privacy-first engineering)

With Borneo, Privacy Observability can be achieved by giving every data touchpoint owner the right tools to manage their data according to the compliance standards to be achieved as an organization. Compliance and data control being two separate opposing entities shall be a thing of the past. Organizations do not have to procure different toolings with different levels of maturity and complexity for every touchpoint --- Borneo is the single pane of glass for quality, real-time, and uniform compliance monitoring and reporting for everywhere your organization's data lies.

Our solution automatically creates and maintains your data security and privacy baselines by continuously analyzing security gaps across your data infra and correlating it with sensitive data discovery, classification, and monitoring. We also detect data protection gaps or misconfigurations with privacy data context, or changes in risk due to addition of high-risk data, prompt remediation actions to prioritize high-risk fixes.

We built Borneo because of the epiphany that security tools needed privacy data intelligence to solve hard problems. We took the first-principles approach at Borneo to build a platform that addresses the complex security and global privacy requirements for the new data-first business models and the modern cloud-native stack.

Want a peek into how Borneo can help your organization achieve Privacy Observability? Request a quick demo with us to get started!

What is Borneo?

Borneo helps security & privacy teams achieve continuous compliance and data protection through accurate & actionable data discovery.

Want to watch Borneo in action? Request a demo here and we will get back to you soonest.

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