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How top organisations are structuring their data security teams, and 10 questions to ensure you can do the same for 2021

Data security has never been as crucial as it is today.

As more financial services companies undergo digital transformation, the risks associated with data are increasing tenfold. And If 2020 has taught us anything, it showed us all of the ways that data security could go wrong.

We hate to say it, but as with everything else it's affected, the COVID-19 pandemic has also created a larger demand for updated data security. And that's partly because of the sheer increase in remote working.

With data sprawl and cloud access data becoming significant threats as employees shifted to working from home, companies' potentially breachable attack surface area grew considerably. That's not the only data security wrongdoing we saw last year, either. Ransomware also took off, with one incident-response firm accrediting over 50% of all of its 2020 breach investigations due to ransomware attacks.

In this blog, we take you through how the top organisations are structuring their data security teams to make sure they avoid any risks or breaches so they can stay on top. We've also provided a checklist comprising ten questions to ensure you don't miss a trick when building your team.

Why does data security need to be restructured?

As the world progresses, more companies are going through a digital transformation. With this increase, the need for excellent data security also increases.

Data security restructure needs to be put into place to cope with the changes and make sure your company is completely protected due to data now being stored across a range of devices and cloud services. As we mentioned above, this is heightened due to the volume of staff working from home during the pandemic.

For data-security professionals, the most profound lesson of 2020 is that data security is not just about the confidentiality of data anymore. It is also about integrity and availability as these areas are also at risk of attack. For this reason, the importance of data security has grown significantly, and therefore is in greater need of a restructure.

Along with all of that, there's also been a change in data security regulations. And if you're not aware, this will impact the amount of protection expected from companies. The need for a restructure also becomes more prevalent when considering new data loss prevention methods, which ultimately influence new best practices.

5 data security trends to keep an eye on in 2021

Higher cost for data collection

More privacy laws mean more cost for data collection. This is because more businesses are either passing legislation or considering bills to strengthen privacy, meaning data security and privacy professionals need to prepare their business to satisfy the regulations, according to Corey Nachreiner, Chief Technology Officer at WatchGuard Technologies. A fundamental change is a focus on the collection of information from smart devices and the Internet of Things, which recognises the collection and integration of data from a variety of sources endangers privacy.'

Less data collection

According to TechBeacon, data breaches have shown that unprotected data are a huge liability. After the shift to remote working for most workers during the pandemic, privacy is no longer just about consumers but also about employees. Often, the best approach is to identify every process and application that collects customer and employee data and ask whether that information needs to be either collected and retained, said Ali ElKortobi.

CEOs to have more involvement in privacy

Consumers are increasingly paying attention to the ethics of companies. And the result is pressure on chief data officers (CDOs), data scientists, and marketing executives to pay more attention to how the company handles data. The ethical use of data is quickly becoming more important. The focus will also shift when considering how data security is actually managed, meaning CEO’s will have more responsibility.

Data availability

Ransomware's rise makes data availability and integrity increasingly important, not just focusing on conditentialy of data. In its 2020 Cyber Front Lines report, cybersecurity services firm CrowdStrike found that 81 percent of the almost two-thirds of financially motivated breaches the company investigated either resulted in ransomware, or a precursor to ransomware, becoming deployed. 


Disinformation becomes a greater data threat when consdiering the events of 2020. Disinformation about all sorts of fake news circulated social as a result of the pandemic, even going as far as permeating the US government. Attackers are aware of this, and use disinformation to their advantage. To counteract this, make sure you build trust with your customers and clients by sharing or correcting information.

Data security teams must evolve

To tackle the mounting challenges facing data security, cybersecurity specialists need to shift from working as individuals to working as coherent teams.

The best data security teams on the planet work in this collaborative manner, leaning into each other’s specialisms to tackle security risks holistically. To compose the right team, you need the right people to make it.

Success lies in having the right people

Above all else, having the right team in place to manage your data security will ensure you get ahead of the game. And that's where we can help.

We've created a checklist comprising 10 key questions that you can ask when creating your data security team.

10 essential questions to ask when building your data security team

  1. Are they personable and engaging?
  2. Do they have a solutions-driven mindset?
  3. Do they understand risk?
  4. Do they have experience with the right systems?
  5. Do they have enough in-work experience?
  6. Are they up to date with regulations?
  7. Do they have business awareness?
  8. Do they understand data governance and ownership?
  9. Are they experienced in data mapping?
  10.  Will they be able to manage stakeholders?

Build your data security teams with confidence

Data security continues to have a more significant influence within a business, and as the risks increase, it's pivotal you're able to bring the best people in. 

That's where we can help. 

At William Rose, we’ve gained experience in both the financial sector and large recruitment businesses. After combining the two, we have both unique and unparalleled knowledge of both industries, as well as being at the forefront of technological development. 

If you’re interested in learning more about what we can do for you, please get in touch.
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