data protection officer CCO

How to Become a Data Protection Officer

The role of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) is a fairly new one in many companies. What’s more, the need to hire a DPO often comes as a response to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which were implemented back in 2018.
As such, the responsibilities, reporting and structure of the role are primarily defined by GDPR guidelines.

But though it might be a fairly new role, it can be a very exciting and rewarding one. So if you’re considering a career as a data protection officer, this guide is for you. Below, we’ll take a look at what the role entails and what you need to do to get a job as a DPO.

What is a Data Protection Officer and What Do They Do?

In a nutshell, a data protection officer is a steward for data protection and privacy within a business. They must implement effective data protection strategies and facilitate a culture of data protection throughout the company. This is to ensure companywide compliance with GDPR. The appointment of a DPO is mandatory in some businesses, particularly those in the public sector or those that process a large amount of personal data. That being said, some businesses choose to appoint a DPO even though they are not legally required to as it pays to have someone in charge of compliance and data privacy.

In the general data protection regulations, it is stated that the DPO should report directly to the highest management level. As a DPO, some of the key responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that a business applies the laws of data protection appropriately and effectively, as
    well as following these regulations and legislations.
  • Educating and training management and all other employees about GDPR and other data protection statutes as well as about compliance and demonstrating effective measures and strategies for data handling and processing.
  • Conducting regular security audits.
  • Acting as the point of contact between the company and any supervisory authorities (SAs). For example, if there is a data breach, it is the job of the DPO to report this to the relevant authorities.

With this in mind, here’s how you can tailor your career path to lead to the role of a data protection officer.

In order to become a DPO, What skills you may need…

Becoming a Data Protection Officer

Certified Data Protection Officer

Data Protection and the Cloud 

Data Protection and the Cloud – Are you really managing the risks?