My work as a systems integrator has allowed me to meet a large number of customers in various industries. It has given me the privilege of seeing various aspects of their businesses. At the very least, I get to meet interesting people. It has also allowed me to meet different organizations at different levels of information technology adoption maturity from the advanced conglomerates, to the MS Office-wielding “mom and pop” store, to the “talk and text” only phone-holding Sari Sari1 store owners. Generally, discussions involving technology are very different from one type of organization to another.
On 27 March 2016, the Philippine nation was made aware of the largest published data breach in its history, dubbed COMELEAK. The leak involved 340 gigabytes of data covering 55 million voters. The timing was also ominous, as this was just 2 months before the hotly contested national elections in May 2016. This was also the first incident in which the newly formed National Privacy Commission (NPC) stepped in. In light of this event, a majority of my conversations with the C-suite now involve data privacy. More recently, Uber Philippines has confirmed that Filipino users were also affected by the 57 million-person Uber breach in October 2016. Sometimes it takes large-scale events like this to wake people up to the reality of personal data breaches. Now everybody wants to know how to protect their organizations against leakages like these.
It does not take much to lose sensitive personal information. Once it is leaked, it is lost. Data privacy is now top of mind. I wrote an article in this year’s first issue of the ISACA® Journal titled “When What is Lost is Lost Forever: Data Privacy” describing the Philippines’ journey toward greater awareness of data privacy, and I provide some advice on how to get started as an organization. These solutions are surprisingly simple and a majority of customers are surprised to learn they already have the solution in their midst.
Read William Emmanuel Yu’s recent Journal article:
“When What Is Lost Is Lost Forever: Data Privacy,” ISACA Journal, vol. 1, 2018.
1 Philippine equivalent of a smaller scale convenience store that sells generally various goods in sachet-sized portions. They are found in every street corner. They are generally sole proprietor options.