New Research Shows Persistent Technical Privacy Skills Gaps Are Impacting Privacy Programs

Ahead of Data Privacy Day on January 28, new research from ISACA explores the latest enterprise privacy trends—from privacy workforce and privacy by design to privacy challenges and the future of privacy—in its new Privacy in Practice 2022 survey report, sponsored by OneTrust.

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New #ISACA research shows persistent technical #privacy skills gaps are impacting privacy programs.

The report highlights that both legal/compliance (46 percent of respondents) and technical privacy roles (55 percent of respondents) at enterprises are understaffed, and the issue has only worsened since last year. Forty-one percent also report that the biggest challenge in forming a privacy program is a lack of competent resources.

However, just 25 percent note they have open privacy legal/compliance roles, and 31 percent indicate they have open technical privacy roles. Respondents also largely expect that privacy professionals will only become more in-demand, with 63 percent anticipating increased demand for legal/compliance roles and 72 percent expecting more demand for technical privacy roles.

Respondents indicate they are looking for three key things in privacy professionals: compliance/legal experience (62 percent), prior hands-on experience in a privacy role (56 percent) and technical experience (48 percent). A university degree is not necessarily a prerequisite—29 percent of respondents say that it is not an important factor when evaluating a candidate. However, respondents indicate they also see skills gaps in candidates, including:

  1. Experience with different technologies and/or applications (64 percent)
  2. Understanding the laws and regulations to which an enterprise is subject (50 percent)
    Experience with frameworks and/or controls (50 percent)
  3. Lack of technical experience (46 percent)

“People are an essential component of any privacy program, both the privacy professionals driving the work forward and employees across the enterprise who follow good data privacy practices,” says Safia Kazi, ISACA Privacy Professional Practice Advisor. “Enterprises need to sufficiently invest in their privacy programs and teams, not only to retain privacy staff and upskill talent to fill open roles, but to also prioritize privacy training efforts to ensure all employees are supporting privacy initiatives.”

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