It’s been an eventful year since the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, became enforceable one short year ago on May 25, 2018. One of the biggest impacts of the GDPR has been the way in which it has altered the conversation about data privacy. Data privacy has become an increasingly global issue, and the GDPR and other similar regulations have been a forcing factor in getting companies and countries to begin taking customer privacy more seriously and strengthening their risk posture

A new Cisco white paper, Privacy Gains: Business Benefits of Privacy Investment, co-authored with the Beacon Group, looks at the ways privacy is driving value for enterprises worldwide, beyond complying with regulatory standards. The paper analyzes and details the benefits of privacy and contemplates the future state of data privacy.

Based on global survey data from the Cisco 2019 Data Privacy Benchmark Study, and Beacon’s qualitative conversations with select data privacy leaders worldwide, the paper  identifies top business benefits realized through privacy investments including better agility and innovation, operational efficiencies, and competitive advantage, and fewer, less costly, data breaches.  As one CEO put it, “Good privacy and being compliant can vastly reduce the risk of a data breach.”

The paper also sheds light on the challenges that privacy professionals face across disparate geographies and how they see privacy creating value. Our conversations with business leaders reveal that privacy-related sales delays are frequently caused by issues or misalignment during the vendor contracting process. Specifically, when companies’ privacy practices or policies are subpar, or they are unwilling to share their current practices, the result can be delays in contract signing or even product redesigns. Furthermore, privacy leaders across the globe clearly articulated the ways in which privacy creates business value for their organizations, and the message is clear: good privacy is good for business.

Our Recommendations

  • Invest in a comprehensive privacy program and determine the outcomes you want. Then figure out how to curate data to help achieve your business objectives. Untended and uncurated assets can become liabilities. When you actively curate data, you not only achieve compliance, but also efficiency, effectiveness and profitability.
  • Embed privacy-awareness into your culture using employee training and awareness programs to communicate the value of privacy to all levels of your organization.
  • Be transparent and accountable. Demonstrate your commitment to protecting and respecting personal data, no matter where it comes from or where it flows.

For a look at Cisco’s eventful privacy journey over the past few years, check out this infographic.


More Information

Cisco and Beacon Privacy Gains White Paper

Cisco 2019 Data Privacy Benchmark Study

Cisco Data Protection and Privacy


Robert Waitman

Director, Privacy Center of Excellence