In the “old days,” security and data protection responsibilities generally rested solely within organizations’ IT teams. Today, nearly 17,000 devices are added to the Internet every minute, expanding the number of targets attackers can exploit to steal valuable data. Now, in addition to IT teams, business leaders and governments around the globe must dive deep into weighty security and privacy topics such as warrantless surveillance, responsible encryption, and levels of impact from security vulnerabilities such as Specter and Meltdown.

Whatever your views on surveillance and encryption, if your business stores any form of customer information, you would likely agree that your ability to successfully protect that customer data can directly impact your bottom line.

January 28 is International Data Privacy Day and is dedicated to reminding us all about the importance of data protection. While this helps drive awareness and celebrate data protection efforts publicly one day per year, Cisco strives for data protection excellence in our products and services every single day of the year.

I asked Judy Barron, Director of our Cisco Services Data Protection team, to highlight Cisco’s Data Protection program and the rigorous data security practices and behaviors it helps drive into our culture.

Guest Author: Judy Barron, Director, Cisco Services Data Protection, Customer Assurance

Concepts like “digital transformation” and “disruptive technologies” are exciting indicators of our time and where we are progressively headed in our current industrial revolution. They signal that opportunities for innovation in 2018 are at an all-time high, with technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), automation, machine learning and internet of things (IoT) driving new possibilities. But they also introduce concerns for our customers about privacy surrounding their data. Customers need to know that those with whom they do business are not only informed, but care about protecting their data privacy too.

Cisco Services Data Protection team has the same concerns. That’s why, as we observe International Data Privacy Day this month, we want to renew our commitment to our customers, and assure them we take protecting their data privacy very seriously.

Cisco has long been recognized for delivering on security. We build secure solutions that are simple, open and automated. From product development to sales, from planning to operations, from customer data to Cisco’s own data, we seek to embed a pervasive security mindset. This is a focus that’s become even more important to Cisco as we prepare for enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May, and our customers express more desire for transparency about how their data is handled.

“Today, as data has become perhaps the single most critical organizational asset, its provenance (i.e., origin and location) and permissions are all important…a data-centric privacy approach can create great value and informed business decision making.”

Michelle Dennedy, Why Privacy Matters.

With the goal of meeting and exceeding customer expectations, Cisco implemented a dedicated data protection program several years ago wherein we train Cisco employees on data protection and privacy; develop organizational “data champions”; and create or support safe data handling campaigns that keep data protection and privacy top-of-mind. The underlying purpose isn’t to drive compliance of a one-time activity, but to reinforce a data-centric culture that addresses data privacy considerations before they become a question or concern.

We know, being able to ensure data privacy in today’s changing digital climate is a game-changer, and foundational to giving our customers the peace of mind they need to focus on business outcomes. We will continue to remain committed to this effort in 2018 and beyond, and hope you will too.

Need Help with your own data privacy program?

If you need help building a privacy program to meet your unique requirements, consider Cisco Privacy and Data Protection Services. Our experienced technology and privacy consultants will help you build a privacy framework and program to support your digitization and technology initiatives.


Curt Hill

Senior Vice President

Customer Assurance