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Cyber and privacy: integrate both in new ways of working from the beginning

Finding a good balance between the company’s interests and employee health on the one hand and individual people’s privacy on the other will be a challenge, Bram van Tiel, PwC expert on cybersecurity and privacy expects.

‘When we go back to the office or another workplace some time from now, how will you monitor your employees’ health? Are you going to take everyone’s temperature? And under what conditions will you do this? This involves all kinds of privacy-related risks.’

Van Tiel points out that the discussion about considering the balance between privacy on the one hand and allowing more to enable faster innovation by the market on the other, is not new. ‘But never before have we been forced to actually make a choice between business interests, health and privacy. In this new situation, we are going to learn at a faster pace. I expect that ultimately we will come out of this better and safer.’

Besides privacy, Van Tiel considers security also a crucial subject, especially now organizations are busy adjusting their business models. ‘They change processes and ways of working. Technology inevitably plays a major role in this. I would strongly advise them to include security aspects while they’re at it. Digitization is nothing new, but cyber security did not always come first. This often only came at the end of these processes leading to expensive solutions. Now, organizations have the chance to do it first time right.’

From cyber security and privacy as the last item on the agenda...

  • In the digital transformation, as a rule cybersecurity and data privacy do no come first.
  • In spite of the possibilities offered by technology, we keep doing things according to set patterns and are not enough aware of the technological possibilities ánd the risks that come with a change in use.
  • The growing dependence on technology requires that we also look at continuity and resilience. 
  • The government plays an important role in promoting digitization within realistic rules of privacy law.

...to the starting point of innovations and new ways of working

  • Reconsideration of the balance and dilemmas between speeding up innovation and the protection of privacy (for instance the Covid-19 tracing apps). Society is watching more than ever before.
  • Privacy must be integrated in new ways of working (possibly supported by matters such as temperature measurement and tracing apps) to convince employees and customers that their data are protected well.
  • Business models are more often subject to discussion and require radical digital adjustments. This offers opportunities to incorporate cyber security right from the start.
  • The crisis has demonstrated the importance and the possibilities of technology. We will keep using many of these possibilities. Security and monitoring will have to be adjusted accordingly.
  • Cyber criminals have demonstrated continuously that they are innovative and able to adapt fast to new situations. This is also something that requires adaptability form organizations.
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Bram van Tiel

Bram van Tiel

Partner Cybersecurity & Dataprivacy, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 243 29 62

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