SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

CISOs - Know what you can and can’t control with GDPR

By Contributor
Mon 25 Jun 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Zscaler Asia Pacific and Japan vice president Scott Robertson

The biggest misconception about Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the idea that you can — and should — control data.

You can’t control everything — in fact, 80% of GDPR-related data isn’t even under the control of CISOs.

Take the example of the CISO for a retailer with hundreds of stores.

You don’t control where the data is, which departments have it, and for what reason they collected it. 

So how can you possibly take on the role of the pseudo-data owner?

Why have so many companies decided that all data and processes need to be managed by IT?

Critical business processes are digital — but just because data resides in a digital system doesn’t mean that the designer or operator of said system understands the data that is stored or processed on it.

GDPR is about empowering data subjects and putting them in control of how and where a company uses their information. 

It’s about ensuring that controllers carry out data processing in a transparent fashion. 

It’s about making sure that information is not left lying around just because it’s no longer of immediate use to the company storing it.

The CISO is integral to information privacy.

But the security function is there to apply controls commensurate with the classification of information, not to define it.

Know what you “own” and control

CISOs “own” principle 6 of GDPR accountability, which says that data should be “processed in an appropriate manner to retain security”.

Teams need to define if the information is being processed lawfully, if they know why they collected it, if they’re sure it is needed in an ongoing capacity, if they have a process for updating the data, and they only retain it for as long as necessary.

After this has been determined, it’s fair to discuss with the CISO how to protect the information.

Risk management is a key consideration for the CISO.

The company information risk management framework needs to be flexible enough to measure not only the impacts to and likelihood of confidentiality, integrity and availability, but also privacy and personal data.

Don’t depend on GDPR for security controls

GDPR is not prescriptive in the way that, for example, PCI DSS is. 

PCI DSS is a series of clearly laid-out control objectives.

The security design/crypto team ensures that payment card data is encrypted appropriately, while the security assurance team tests and remediates.

They call in the Qualified Security Assessor (QSA), and compliance is given as a percentage measured against those objectives.

QSAs and compliance objectives will not exist for GDPR.

This is not a security issue to solve.

Granted, a QSA’s assessment is not a guarantee — but at least they have a line in the sand.

With GDPR, the first time you know how robust your controls are will be at the time of a breach.

GDPR can impact all businesses, not just those in Europe

There is a misconception that GDPR applies exclusively to companies with physical infrastructure in a European country.

If you’re in Europe and you are buying a product or service in the EU, then yes, you’re covered.

If you’re an EU citizen, living in Australia, buying Australian goods, being shipped to an Australian address, then no, GDPR wouldn’t necessarily apply.

There are some “extraterritorial conditions,” but that’s a fairly solid rule of thumb. 

GDPR articles 3 and 4 mention that a non-EU country is in scope if it is processing information of a data subject in the European Union.

Citizenship of the data subject doesn’t matter. 

The origin of the processing is important.

Non-European companies can show “equivalency” of controls — something that Australia’s Privacy Act (1988) provides to some extent.

The Act does not, however, include any equivalent to the “right to be forgotten” provision of the GDPR.

In 2016 the Privacy Act (1988) was amended with provisions making it mandatory to report certain types of data breaches, bringing Australian law into closer alignment with GDPR.

Beware of catch-all technology promises

GDPR is going to be big business for security and risk vendors.

However, there’s a danger of “silver bullet” selling — that is, claims that a solution will give you a failsafe way to address GDPR. 

Security vendors can help with GDPR by:

  • Assisting with the completion of supplier assessments and privacy impact assessments;
  • Supplying solutions that provide “privacy by design,” minimise data collection, and provide capabilities for obfuscation and pseudonymisation;
  • Offering solutions that allow for the retention of information within the EU;
  • Providing transparency/adequacy of controls when information is processed in third countries.

Once an organisation understands where its data resides, there are technological and practice-driven solutions that can mitigate the risks of a data breach.

But the CISO must also take a role in educating boards, executives, and fellow employees on their role in protecting data: choosing systems and practices that support GDPR principles and maintaining practices that safeguard customer data.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
Research
New study reveals 51% of employees using unauthorised apps
The research shows that 92% of employees and managers in large enterprises want full control over applications, but they don't have it.
Story image
Cyber Criminal
Identity and access: the fight is on
Blue team defenders are used to protecting our data, applications, and users with access controls and other security mechanisms, which is why attacks like this are especially challenging when they target identity and access control systems.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Zero trust security adoption rises 27% in just two years
A survey of WAN managers has revealed that multi-factor authentication and single sign-on are the top zero trust features implemented.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Vulnerable APIs costing businesses billions every year
Large companies are particularly vulnerable to the security risks associated with exposed or unprotected APIs as they accelerate digital transformation.  
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Ransomware
Rapid7 report examines use of double extortion ransomware attacks
New insight into how attackers think when carrying out cyber attacks, along with further analysis of the disclosure layer of double extortion ransomware attacks, has come to light.
Story image
Vendor
Forescout reveals top vulnerabilities impacting OT vendors
Forescout’s Vedere Labs has disclosed OT: ICEFALL, naming 56 vulnerabilities affecting devices from 10 operational technology vendors.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity launches corporate venture capital fund
Ping Identity has launched a corporate venture capital fund to foster innovative offerings for the identity security market.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
SonicWall
Find out how you and your business can prevent being caught out by everything from ransomware to cryptojacking.
Link image
Story image
HP Inc
Firmware attacks significant threat in age of hybrid work
Changing workforce dynamics are creating new challenges for IT teams around firmware security, according to new research.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Kaspersky opens three new centers to boost data management
Cybersecurity company Kaspersky has opened three new Transparency Centers, one in Japan, the second in Singapore and the third in the United States.
Story image
Compliance
Stock security features inadequate in face of rising risk
"Organisations must proactively find ways of identifying unseen vulnerabilities and should take a diligent, holistic approach to cybersecurity."
Story image
Cloud Security
Palo Alto Networks bolsters cloud native security offerings
Latest Prisma Cloud platform updates help organisations continuously monitor and secure web applications with maximum flexibility.
Story image
Infosys
Preparing for the digital decade with the right workforce strategies
For a decade that started under the pall of the pandemic, the 2020s is poised to end with a bang with the digital economy swelling to a high across the world.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation
In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - ActiveCampaign, Arcserve, LogRhythm & Qlik
We round up all job appointments from June 17-22, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.
Story image
SaaS
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Manufacturing
Sternum joins NXP, collaborates on IoT security and observability
Sternum has announced it has joined the software partner community of NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of and large marketplace for embedded controllers.
Story image
Cybersecurity
FIDO Alliance releases guidelines for optimising UX with FIDO Security Keys
The new guidelines aim to accelerate multi-factor authentication deployment and adoption with FIDO security keys.
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cloudflare adds new capabilities to zero trust SASE platform
New features for Cloudflare One include email security protection, data loss prevention tools, cloud access security broker, and private network discovery.
Story image
DDoS
Flashpoint unveils security offering for school boards
Flashpoint has released its K-12 risk management and security offering to provide school boards and education security practitioners with tools to recognise, prevent and manage cyber and physical threats.
Story image
Oracle Cloud
Commvault, Oracle to deliver Metallic Data Management as a Service
"We are excited to partner with Commvault and enable our customers to restore and recover their most mission-critical cloud data."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Abnormal Security finds financial supply chain under threat
New research by Abnormal Security has found a rising trend in financial supply chain compromise as threat actors increasingly impersonate vendors.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
INTERPOL
Hundreds arrested, millions seized in global INTERPOL investigation
A two-month-long investigation by INTERPOL this year involved 76 countries and clamped down on organised crime groups behind telecommunications and social engineering scams.
Story image
Internet of Things
ManageEngine wins big in IDC MarketScape assessment
ManageEngine's Endpoint Central service has been recognised as a leader by IDC MarketScape in several categories including Internet of Things device deployments and UEM software for SMEs.
Story image
Gartner
Gartner's top recommendations for security leaders
"Leaders now recognise that major disruption is only one crisis away. We can’t control it, but we can evolve our thinking, philosophy, program and architecture.”
Story image
Collaboration
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.
Story image
Digital Transformation
What CISOs think about cyber security, visibility and cloud
Seeking to uncover the minds of CISOs and CIOs across Asia Pacific, my company recently asked Frost & Sullivan to take a snapshot of cloud adoption behaviour in the region.
Story image
Apple
LastPass announces new capability for iPhones and iPads
LastPass has announced its new save and fill experience, allowing customers to fill in, create and save their credentials directly within the site's form field.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Greater API usage raises concerns for protection - report
Radware has released its 2022 State of API Security report, which shows a rise in APIs, with 92% of the organisations surveyed significantly or somewhat increasing their usage.
Story image
Motorola Solutions
Motorola Solutions deploys communication system to 5th Japanese airport
Motorola Solutions with its partner, Nippon Airport Radio Services deployed the mission critical communication system to Kansai.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Email threats spike 101%, remains a top attack vector
"Each year we see innovation in the threat landscape, but each year email remains a major threat to organisations."
Story image
Trend Micro
5G network projects driven by improving security and privacy
Trend Micro's new study reveals the prospect of improved security and privacy capabilities are the main motivations behind private 5G wireless network projects.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Yubico
New research shows global drive for passwordless authentication
A new study has shown there has been a significant shift towards wanting a passwordless future, but adoption is still in its infancy.
Story image
WatchGuard Technologies
Ransomware volume doubled 2021 total by end of Q1 2022
Ransomware detections in the first quarter of this year doubled the total volume reported for 2021, according to a new report.