5 Ideas To Kickstart Your Governance, Risk and Compliance Program in the New Year!

We’ve all been there. Sitting around the conference room with our compliance teams, droning on about scheduling conflicts, procedural details and strategy about strategy. Here are some actual substantive ideas, initiatives and approaches to privacy, data governance and cyber-security that can get the ball rolling next year.

1. Policies aren’t just documents you keep around in case you might have to show them to a judge one day. Start putting them to work and leveraging their authority to cut costs and reduce operational risks!

For example:

  • Privacy policies, now required to be updated annually by the State of California, can actually help drive data mapping exercises, leading to new insights into structured and unstructured data systems. Use those insights to help patch gaps in your IT infrastructure and even retire costly, redundant systems, classify shadow IT and discard unused shelfware.
  • Retention policies can be used as virtual blueprints to justify and destroy, costly, over-retained paper records and electronic data lingering around the office and waiting to be discovered… by your adversaries!
  • Cyber-security policies like those required by the New York DFS can be used to help IT decision makers prioritize strategic investments in your cyber-defense software.
2. Chief executives realize audits are necessary to continually optimize business processes, but even the sharpest leaders sometimes forget the most sobering, useful assessments are conducted by outside parties who don’t have an inherently biased interest in determining the findings.

Executives need to make sure they are told what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.

3. One of the reasons assurance departments like compliance, risk and internal audit struggle with their annual reviews is because of a lack of policy organization within their OWN departments.

Lack of procedural consistency, ownership of policy and overlap and confusion over a directives authority in can create even more conflict, risk and uncertainty for an organization. But relying on institutional knowledge and spreadsheets just doesn’t cut it anymore. That’s why every regulated company needs a strong technology backbone in the form of a GRC or governance risk and compliance software.

4. These days the risk is not just internal. With so much of our data in the cloud and managed by other parties, some of the greatest risks have moved outside of the firewall.

Organizations need strategies and tools to help them prioritize and manage those vendor risks effectively. Sophisticated and affordable tools that address consumer data privacy requests can also be used to map and streamline an organizations external data, whether it’s private in nature or otherwise.

5. Finally, risk is not a one size fits all problem. Investment needs to be proportional to the exposure. That’s why it’s important to spend enough time planning your long-term strategy rather diving headfirst into solutions that promise the moon and end up creating more infrastructure dependency than you bargained for.

Rafael Moscatel is Managing Director of Compliance and Privacy Partners, a consulting firm specializing in data governance and privacy solutions. He is an award-winning Information Governance Professional (IGP), Certified Records Manager (CRM), Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM). Rafael has spent the last twenty years developing large-scale Information Management Programs for the Fortune 500 including Paramount Pictures and Farmers Insurance. Reach him at 323-413-7432, follow him on Twitter at @rafael_moscatel or visit http://www.capp-llc.com to learn more.

We’ve Won! 1st place in our 2019 Information Management Today MVP Awards

The people have spoken and our article, “7 Ways to Prepare Data in the Age of Privacy and Information Governance,” has won 1st place in the 2019 Information Management Today MVP Awards Other category! Thank you to all of our subscribers!

Article reprinted below!

Content may still be king, but now the rights to some of it may belong to the people! In response to the EU’s General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR) and recent stateside efforts to enshrine data protection including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), organizations are revisiting the efficacy of their Data and Information Governance (IG) programs. Laws and regulations vary by industry and company size but each intend to protect consumer’s personal data by prescribing technical and governance standards backed by stiff penalties for non-compliance.

Notably, while many companies are already familiar with records retention laws, these latest controls also introduce a duty to destroy data once no longer required for a legitimate business purpose. For entities that have grown accustomed to leveraging cheap digital storage, this new responsibility presents a number of logistical hurdles.

However, directives on how you may use your customer’s data or any other information you store doesn’t necessarily have to be burdensome. In fact, these new guardrails present numerous opportunities to implement better governance, monetize the lifecycle of information assets and foster trustworthy relationships that can actually enhance the customer experience.

These 7 tips can help prepare your data to support an IG strategy:

  1. Automate Retention Schedules – Legal and compliance requirements are the cornerstones of corporate governance programs. Yet tracking the multitude of historical and emerging state, federal and international laws and regulations that affect your data decisions can be a monumental task that even the most robust law departments aren’t prepared for. Consider leveraging SaaS software to keep your Risk, Compliance and Legal staff current on the latest citation changes to these nuanced instructions. These tools empower you to defensibly destroy and cleanse costly data no longer useful to your organization.
  2. Cover Your Assets – Satisfying new compliance requirements like GDPR and CCPA means it’s not enough to simply know what kinds of records you keep, you need to know what systems they’re kept in and how that data flows between them. That’s why Chief Data Officers and Enterprise Architects are increasingly embracing asset management tools that not only perform diagnostics on their application stack but allow them to inventory their attributes and map related processes that inform long-term strategic roadmap planning. Tools like these also help support application rationalization projects which in turn aid in classification and disposal of unneeded data.
  3. Introduce Big Buckets – The biggest challenges with enforcing retention across an enterprise are “event triggers” that complicate how long sets of records must be retained. For example, an employee file might be held X years following a termination “event.” Big Bucket strategies allow you to simplify and group “like” records together to support more efficient destruction actions while assuming some risk. Work with your governance partners to determine reasonable standards for a Big Bucket policy and quantifying the acceptable amount of risk your company is willing to assume to achieve cost and efficiency benefits.
  4. Enforce Legal Holds – Cleansing your data lakes and silos to save costs and minimize risk is an exercise in defensible destruction but requires awareness of outstanding legal holds. A company that spoliates evidence subject to a legal hold, even without malice, can be fined and suffer adverse inference litigation rulings resulting in unfavorable judgments. Additionally, healthy oversight of records under a preservation hold doesn’t just make good legal sense, it can also help better identify opportunities for even more defensible destruction, cost reduction and risk mitigation.
  5. Activate File Analysis – The tricky thing about new laws like the CCPA is that they require companies to find and produce data for the consumer wherever it exists. That can be a cumbersome test for many entities that have hundreds or thousands of repositories. Luckily, advanced File Analysis tools can plug directly into your network and help quickly identify sensitive and personally identifiable information (PII). They can also help you deduplicate records and find redundant, obsolete and trivial data clogging your systems, also known as ROT. These tools produce a tangible ROI that management can point to as a prime example of why IG works.
  6. Embrace Content Migrations – Unless you’ve only lived in one home your entire life, you’ve probably experienced the cathartic process of cleansing your old wares in preparation for a move. Bringing in a new content management system is not much different and it’s a unique opportunity to apply retention to your data, discard ROT and provide employees with more accurate knowledge resources.
  7. Bake-in Best Practices – Information Governance is not a “one and done” proposition, it’s a rinse and repeat discipline that only works when management sees to it that organizational culture is along for the ride. These days a basic understanding about data handling is vital for every new hire. Concepts like records retention, data protection and privacy should be part of any overall corporate training plan.

By complementing policy frameworks and toolsets with the types of Information Governance approaches noted here we can better enable our workforce to hone their knowledge skills, achieve defensible destruction and improve audit outcomes. In effect, we are future proofing ourselves for a business world destined to face increased scrutiny and under siege from data breaches and privacy issues with seemingly no end in sight. IG is the bright light at the end of that tunnel.

Rafael Moscatel, CRM, IGP, is the Managing Director of Compliance and Privacy Partners, LLC. Reach him at 323-413-7432, follow him on Twitter at @rafael_moscatel or visit http://www.capp-llc.com to learn more.

California Dreamin’ – A Free Roadmap For your CCPA Journey

What is the CCPA and why should you care?

In response to recent stateside efforts to enshrine data protection including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), organizations are revisiting the efficacy of their Data and Information Governance (IG) programs. Laws and regulations vary by industry and company size. Yet each intend to protect consumer’s personal data by prescribing technical and governance standards backed by stiff penalties for non-compliance.


What you need to know and do to ensure compliance with California’s new Consumer Privacy Act

New regulations governing use of customer and personal data needn’t be burdensome.  Rather, they help reduce expenses and monetize the information lifecycle, identify opportunities for better governance to avoid fines and litigation exposure and foster trust to enhance customer experiences. Download this FREE detailed CCPA roadmap to see how you can get your company on the path to compliance.


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Our CCPA and GDPR engagements include:

  • Data and resource mapping
  • Conducting gap and risk assessments
  • Controls evaluation to standards
  • Establishing governance with clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  • Policies and procedures review
  • Domestic and International legal review of privacy and security policies to fit the organization’s risk profile and culture
  • Consumer data request and delivery mechanism (including website notices)
  • Providing education and training
  • Design of role-based access control (RBAC) rights
  • Privacy impact assessment (PIA/DPIA) during product design

Third Party Due Diligence Support

  • Pre-contract due diligence and consulting
  • Cloud services guidance
  • Managed security services (build or buy guidance)
  • Third-party management program/policy

Our consulting and software solutions enable clients to comply with CCPA provisions 1798.110(a)(4), 1798.100, 1798.105, 1798.110, 1798.120, 1798.145, 1798.140, 1798.150


Call us today to see how we can help you with:

  • California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, Amendments and Rulemaking
  • HIPAA/HITECH Security, Privacy and Breach Notification Rules
  • Generally Accepted Privacy Principles (GAPP)
  • EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • ISO/IEC 27001-2:2013
  • CIS Top 20 Critical Security Controls (CA AG requires)
  • SEC OCIE Cybersecurity Initiative
  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework
  • U.S. Sentencing/DOJ/OIG Guidelines for Effective Compliance (program foundation)
  • Applying Risk Management Program Management and Principles

Williams Data Management to Host Data Protection Lunch with Compliance and Privacy Partners at Century City Chamber of Commerce

Media Contact: Ally Bertik ally@marketingmaven.com (310) 405-0358  

Williams Data Management to Host Data Protection Lunch at Century City Chamber of Commerce

Leader in Data Protection Partners with Cyber Hygienist and Technology Expert to Discuss How Fiduciaries Can Prepare and Protect Their Businesses for Data Breaches

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LOS ANGELES.  – (September 18, 2019)  Williams Data Management, southern California’s leader in data protection, has partnered with Rafael Moscatel, managing director of Compliance and Privacy Partners, and George Baldonado, president and CEO of Oasis Technology, Inc. to host a “Data Protection, A Primer For Your Fiduciary: It’s Your Business, Protect It!” lunch​ in conjunction with the Century City Chamber of Commerce. The panel will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 3, 2019 at Greenberg Glusker, 1900 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1400 in Century City, California.

Data Protection Pro, Douglas C. Williams, president and CEO of Williams Data Management will discuss how small businesses can take advantage of a data breach reporting service powered by CSR Privacy Solutions, Inc. to enable companies to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Other topics will include the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), cyber security protection and data governance.

“We are thrilled to lead the conversation for fiduciaries on how to better protect their businesses,” said Williams. “Our goal is to keep your information safe, secure and available regardless of what it is or where it is stored. We hope to provide a clear solution for companies in all industries moving forward, especially with our new data protection suite that provides a pathway for self-assessment and structural gap analysis for internal management.”

Guests will have the opportunity to network with business professionals, engage in this informative panel with expert sources and enjoy lunch provided by Williams Data Management.

To learn more or register for the data protection lunch, please visit https://business.centurycitycc.com/events/details/data-protection-a-primer-for-your-fiduciary-it-s-your-business-protect-it-1704.  

About Williams Data Management

Williams Data Management is southern California’s leading source for data protection management. The company educates, consults, has the source materials, and provides the structure for self-assessment and corporate plan structure for information breach notifications in the United States. Over the last decade, the firm has become an expert solution provider, offering professional records management, data protection, imaging and digitization, cloud storage and certified data destruction services to all sectors and sizes of businesses.

Williams holds numerous certifications for data compliance and destruction including SSAE16, NAID “AAA” Certification, and is a member of PRISM. For more information, visit www.williamsdatamanagement.com or call 888-478-FILE.

About Century City Chamber of Commerce

The Century City Chamber of Commerce is one of Los Angeles’ most active, involved and relationship-driven chambers. The chamber places a special emphasis on its members working together to build effective relationships and relevant programs that help individuals and companies expand their marketplace reach. Under the clear and powerful guidance of many energetic committees and councils, the Century City Chamber has grown to encompass representatives from virtually every industry, helping to make Century City one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious business communities. From the largest corporations to mid-sized businesses and emerging entrepreneurs, its diverse members thrive with one another and with key decision makers.

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