As a result of recent high-profile data breaches and various changes in technology, organizations are expected to revise privacy policies by the end of next year, Gartner researchers predict.
As cloud computing and location-based services proliferate, organizations are grappling with the privacy implications of having data reside outside corporate control, Gartner said in its latest report released Aug. 8.
The steady string of data breaches that have hit practically every industry sector and organizations of all sizes, and changes in compliance regulations will also force organizations to review and revise their current privacy policies before the end of 2012, Gartner analysts said.
New threats to personal data and privacy emerged in 2010, but budgets for implementing privacy protection remained low, wrote Carsten Casper, research director at Gartner. Casper expects the budget crisis to continue throughout 2011 and 2012, with privacy programs "chronically underfunded."
More than half of companies will tweak the policies they already have to bring them up-to-date with new technologies and computing models, Gartner said. Data breaches ranked high on the priority list because they affect so many aspects of the business. But preparing for and following up on breaches was "straightforward," and privacy officials should not be spending more than 10 percent of their time dealing with data breaches, according to Gartner.
"Most controls exist anyway if security management is working properly," according to Gartner.
Regardless of what Gartner suggests, organizations are spending a lot of time resolving data breaches. Sony spent nearly a month rebuilding the PlayStation Network after a massive attack compromised user accounts in April. Sony will spend more months and years dealing with lawsuits from customers claiming damages as a result of the data breaches.
A recent Ponemon Institute and HP Arcsight report found that the average time to resolve a cyber-attack was 18 days, and that a malicious insider attack could take more than 45 days on average to contain.