Top 10 Benefits of DPO as a Service & Virtual DPO

Are you in compliance GDPR regulations?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires every organization to comply with specific data protection and privacy regulations. Organizations that fulfill the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) requirements must hire a Data Protection Officer. All organizations should have a DPO who is fully responsible for defining and managing controls over sensitive information.

The aggressive nature of ever-evolving cybercrime poses a serious threat to European people, businesses, and public administration organizations. At the same time, the mobile and remote workforce makes it more challenging to comply with GDPR.

Most organizations are processing ever-increasing amounts of data as a result of digitalization. Consequently, these companies must take appropriate measures to safeguard their customers and business by handling data appropriately. Designating a Data Protection Officer ensures that there is oversight and management for your valuable corporate data.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires every organization to comply with specific data protection and privacy regulations. Organizations that fulfill the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) requirements must hire a Data Protection Officer. All organizations should have a DPO who is fully responsible for defining and managing controls over sensitive information.

A higher risk of non-compliance might result in a penalty of 4 percent of your global revenue or up to €20 million, whichever is greater.

Playing the ignorance card won’t work once your company has been fined for non-compliance with GDPR.

If you’re not a GDPR expert, the GDPR rules might be challenging to understand and comply with. DPO helps your organization comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union to prevent compliance confusion and massive financial losses.

What you should know about the Data Protection Officer

Generally, a data protection officer (DPO) is an independent corporate official competent in maintaining compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. The DPO is responsible for conducting internal privacy assessments and overseeing, supervising, and providing consultancy on all topics related to the GDPR.

A DPO must have direct access to top management, who can assist them in making decisions on personal information processing. Your company executives have minimal or no influence on DPO’s activities, findings, and recommendations.

If there is a conflict of interest, top management will not exercise any pressure on the DPO, just as IT managers are prohibited from taking on the function of a DPO under any circumstances. Also, a company executive involved in future or existing litigation or regulatory action against the company should not be designated as the DPO.

An organization-wide security policy should be well-established, communicated to, and adhered to by everyone. It is essential to keep in mind is that when someone is appointed as a DPO does not mean this person is entirely responsible for data protection compliance. The DPO’s role is to supervise any required modifications and make sure all employees know the data protection policy.

Data Protection Officer Role

Let’s take a closer look at the designation of the Data Protection Officer: mandated and voluntary DPO positions, the scope of competencies, their independence, conflicts of interests, liability, etc.

This role is sometimes referred to as a Privacy Officer or an Information Officer. While the roles and obligations for appointing a DPO vary between jurisdictions, there are some standard requirements. Usually, DPO will not need to be appointed by smaller organizations or those that only process limited amounts of personal data, although appointing DPO in such cases may still be encouraged.

When a DPO appointment is required, there are often stipulations regarding who can be appointed as a DPO. The appointment of a Data Protection Officer is generally governed by a set of rules and regulations that vary across geographies. However, legislative requirements to appoint DPOs are becoming increasingly common around the world, and their responsibilities are getting better defined.

In the EU, the GDPR provides that DPO must be appointed based on their relevant professional qualifications or extensive experience and that the individual is easily contactable. In addition, there can be requirements as to where a DPO is located.

Once a DPO has been appointed, many jurisdictions require that contact details of the DPO must be provided to the local supervisory authority. In addition, it is often a legal obligation to provide the DPO’s contact details in privacy policies or notifications to data subjects.

Data Protection Officer Responsibilities

DPOs may also be tasked with generally monitoring GDPR compliance or performing previews of their organization. To ensure the effectiveness of the DPO in fulfilling these responsibilities, several laws, including the EU’s GDPR, stipulate that the DPO must have a high degree of independence. The above may mean, for example, that a DPO cannot be penalized for performing their tasks.

It is the responsibility of the data protection officer (DPO) to provide businesses with data compliance and privacy guidelines and report any violations of data regulations. The DPO position requires advanced knowledge of GDPR and other relevant data protection laws, including the ePrivacy Directive. In most cases, a DPO’s primary responsibility is to ensure compliance with the applicable privacy legislation in the jurisdiction. This may include overseeing subject data requests, assisting with data protection, impact assessments, employee security awareness training, and cooperating with supervisory authorities.

Some laws further provide that a DPO must be able to communicate with senior management. Other variations on DPO appointments around the world include whether different organizations can appoint the same DPO, conflict of interest requirements, whether a group can be designated a DPO, and obligations related to appointing the deputy DPOs are similar.

DPO Qualifications Summary

  • Ability to train staff on data protection awareness.
  • Self-confidence and a deep understanding of the organization’s processes and industry.
  • The capability of teaching large groups of people and clarifying complex concepts.
  • Background in law. A data protection officer (DPO) is defined in GDPR article 37 as a person with professional skills and understanding of data protection laws and procedures.
  • Experience in cybersecurity security. Companies subject to GDPR must hire someone who has dealt with real-world security incidents and can advise on security risk assessments, countermeasures, and data protection impact assessments (DPIA). As a rule of thumb, a DPO should have expertise in cyber security.

Outsourcing DPO: DPO as a Service

Outsourcing the DPO function is an obvious first choice for small and medium-sized businesses. To hire a DPO, companies must find someone practical enough to understand that their capabilities to the role are less important than their ability to negotiate appropriate solutions in an increasingly unpredictable regulatory environment. The competent and experienced DPO confidently makes his way through the marsh.

On the other hand, if you appoint an in-house DPO, there will be opposition from every department that the DPO comes into contact with. Information technology (IT) perceives GDPR as an unnecessary burden on their project timetables, while sales and marketing view it as an unreasonable interference with the capacity to execute effectively. Security concerns that the new rule contradicts directly with existing regulatory obligations they’re currently carrying. Legal is left scratching their heads at how unclear the law is.

That said,  the DPO must be ready to collaborate with various functional departments. He or she must have the courage to speak up, defend their convictions, and know when to maintain the position and when to compromise. Most crucially, this person must be able to measure the impact of your organization’s compliance responsibilities on your bottom line.

10 Benefits of External Data Protection Officer

  1. To comply with the GDPR, all DPOs must be independent resources for the firm.
  2. You don’t have to invest in educating your DPO because he or she has and a solid understanding of the GDPR on paper and in practice.
  3. Appointing the DPO role to the company’s top IT or security manager is not recommended, as the DPO will be obliged to provide honest feedback on the company’s IT and security systems.
  4. The experienced external DPO is familiar with both the GDPR’s substance and its interpretations. He can analyze sophisticated regulatory requirements and provide valuable insights and practical recommendations.
  5. The DPO must be thoroughly familiar with both the text and the practical implementation of the GDPR and other privacy laws, cybersecurity, and risk management.
  6. An external DPO is an expert in the data protection and data privacy domains, providing objective advice and guidance. A strong understanding of the organization and the data it handles allow him to enable clients to remain up with the current risks to the organization and enforce GDPR compliance.
  7. It’s significantly simpler to replace a consultant than an employee if you’re unhappy and dissatisfied with a DPO service.
  8. An outsourced DPO may have more robust insight into how other businesses are implementing GDPR solutions.
  9. There are no conflicts of interest with the external data privacy consultants.
  10. The hidden benefit of increased data transparency resulting from GDPR compliance is your enhanced ability to make educated business decisions.

DPO as a Service by CISO AG

In some circumstances, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates the controller or data processor to appoint a DPO (data protection officer). GDPR-related requirements are not always prominent and easy to implement in your day-to-day operations. The DPO role also requires extensive knowledge of the data protection domain and a thorough understanding of the organization’s industry.

DPO as a Service by CISO AG is offered to organizations of all sizes interested in getting structured, hands-on guidance based on our global GDPR, Data Privacy, and Protection experience.

CISO AG offers DPO as a Service Package. We undertake the external DPO function. Our team of experienced legal, cybersecurity, risk management, and data privacy experts advise your organization and help implement and continuously monitor all the compliance postures. CISO AG has all licenses and certifications for GDPR compliance and data protection implementation.

We cover a broad range of relevant GDPR knowledge and best practices. We will provide you with the necessary materials, well-defined procedures, and documents. Here is a summary of the expertise and results CISO AG brings to the table.

  • Inform and advise on privacy legislation guidelines
  • The advice on developing and updating procedures and policies
  • Support on the completion of DPIAs (data protection impact assessments)
  • Coordinate and act as a contact point for the supervisory authority
  • Reliance on the data protection-related operations, such as data subject requests, personal data breaches, and more.
  • Monitor compliance with the regulation and follow up on existing controls.

Your GDPR Compliance Objectives & CISO AG Deliverables

Privacy legislation guidelines

  • Inform and counsel the controller, processor or employees, on any GDPR-related issues.
  • Organize data protection awareness workshops and employee training.
  • Implement data protection principles and central concepts within your organization.
  • PIMS. Establish a Personal Information Management System (PIMS), in line with ISO 27701 / BS 10012.

Assistance with the completion of DPIAs (data protection impact assessments)

  • Collect and examine the current documentation.
  • Advice on the design and revision of policies and procedures
  • Data protection-related procedures support
  • Organize workshops with the relevant stakeholders to review the procedures and/or policies, identify the ones to ve created or updated.
  • Participate in tailored seminars to resolve remaining issues and identify emerging data protection support requirements.
  • Assess the current data protection procedures and provide recommendations for improvements.
  • Serve as the point of contact for the supervisory authorities

Risk Management Framework (Monitor compliance and existing controls)

  • Organize meetings with critical stakeholders to have a better understanding of the varied business situations that exist.
  • Put procedures in place for a regular check on compliance with the data protection regulation.
  • Provide practical advice based on real business scenarios and broad experiences.
  • Provide tools, templates, best practices, steps, and tips for setting and implementing the GDPR governance within your organization.
  • Provide advice and design practical solutions for transfers of personal data: to third countries, third parties and the cloud, etc. Cross-border data transfers – options & solutions. Ensure compliance in international data transfers.
  • Advice on protecting information assets, encrypting and anonymizing, preventing data leaks, minimizing soft and hard hardware vulnerabilities, and assessing privacy solutions and technologies.
  • The DPIA (data protection impact assessment) considering the following factors: need, time, procedures, internal/external collaboration, workflows, legal risks, approvals, and communication.
  • Regular data privacy audits and monitoring: e-discovery, data security; cybersecurity; privacy by design; privacy impact assessment; data protection audit, activity tracking.
  • Privacy awareness training for employees
  • Practicalities on dealing with requests and complaints
  • Real-world scenario based-case for a data breach and incidence response plan
  • Provide a comprehensive set of standard documents and examples to prove GDRP compliance, including certificates