Evaluate Your Privacy Program's Maturity

It’s Not Only What You Do That Matters, But How Well You Do It

Modern privacy programs have grown increasingly complex and, as a result, are less likely to operate as smoothly as intended. You may have a thorough privacy program in place, but how well does it actually function? This is the question that the Privacy Maturity Model aims to answer.

Privacy Maturity Model

Maturity here refers to a practiced, seamless, and efficient system. How many times have you been on an airplane and failed to pay attention to the flight attendant’s standard review of emergency procedures? If often, you are likely in good company.

This creates certain safety risks. In such a case, a documented and consistently practiced policy exists – the equivalent of maturity level 3 if we were assessing the maturity of a privacy program. Moving up to level 4 requires a closer study of measurable factors, including how quickly – and therefore efficiently – existing protocols are executed in emergency situations (real or simulated). In this example, how quickly can passengers figure out how to inflate their safety vests and where the nearest emergency exit is located?

Level 5 then requires studying those metrics on an ongoing basis for both successful and problematic results, and making improvements to your system accordingly. If, for example, the safety vests are complicated or prone to malfunction due to user error, this aspect of the safety protocol should be addressed with a simpler and more reliable safety vest design or a more effective training procedure for passengers.

"Choas Can Ensue"

Ultimately, chaos can often ensue in emergency situations due to deficiencies in maturity. In other words, just because a documented procedure exists, doesn’t mean it has been sufficiently assessed to account for the many ways it can fail. In much the same way, what looks like a comprehensive privacy program may, in fact, be misleading if you fail to assess it against the proper controls. Bottom line: You can’t fix what you don’t see.

Program Alignment

Whether your program is aligned with NIST, GAPP, MITRE, ISO 27701, or any other privacy framework, we can assess the privacy maturity of each of its components by engaging in a thorough process of interviews, document review, and other tasks to understand your program’s maturity level. Equipped with this knowledge, we’ll recommend a maturity level that’s best for your company, based on your jurisdiction, your industry and its best practices, and other factors. Then we’ll get to work helping you fix what needs to be fixed.

Interested in learning more about Privacy Program Maturity? Check out our training website for a list of courses on this and other topics to boost your privacy program!

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