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What is a Risk Register? A Guide to Risk Registers

A Data Risk Register is a comprehensive record that outlines all the potential risks associated with an organization's handling of data. It is a living document that is updated regularly to reflect changes in technology, data protection laws and regulations, and the organization's data processing activities. The purpose of a Data Risk Register is to help organizations identify, assess, and manage data privacy risks in a structured and systematic manner.

Data Privacy Risks

Data privacy risks can arise from a variety of sources, including but not limited to: human error, system failures, cyber-attacks, and data breaches. By keeping track of these risks, organizations can prioritize their data protection efforts, allocate resources appropriately, and ensure that they are taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm to data subjects.

The use of a Data Risk Register is not limited to organizations that process large amounts of personal data. In fact, it is important for organizations of all sizes and types to assess and manage their data privacy risks, as the consequences of a data breach can be severe, regardless of the size of the organization or the amount of data involved.

Who Manages Risk Registers?

Individuals who are responsible for managing data protection within an organization, such as Data Protection Officers (DPOs), Information Security Officers (ISOs), and other compliance professionals, are typically the ones who need to use a Data Risk Register. However, it is important for all employees within an organization to be aware of the data protection risks that the organization faces, and to take appropriate steps to minimize these risks.

The use of a data risk register allows organizations to demonstrate compliance with data protection laws and regulations, such as the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). By keeping track of their data protection risks and the measures they have taken to mitigate these risks, organizations can show regulators and auditors that they are taking data protection seriously and that they have taken all reasonable steps to protect the personal data they process.

PrivacyEngine Risk Register

One tool that organizations can use to maintain a Data Risk Register is PrivacyEngine's Data Privacy Platform. This platform provides organizations with a comprehensive and user-friendly tool for managing their data protection risks, and it can be customized to meet the specific needs of each organization. With PrivacyEngine's Data Privacy Platform, organizations can identify, assess, and mitigate against data protection risks, as well as demonstrate compliance in the event of a regulatory investigation or audit.

Using PrivacyEngine's Data Privacy Platform to maintain a Data Protection Risk Register allows your organization to identify and mitigate against data protection risks, as well as demonstrate compliance in the event of a regulatory investigation or audit.

The Risk Register includes a RAG rating matrix and chart to give an overall view of the risk profile of your organization. A date slide allows you to check the historical risk profile of your organization.

The Risk Register table lists all the risks identified and added for your organization. Here you can see the risk description, where the risk originated (Data Processing Activity, Subject Request, Third Party, IT System, DPEA, DPIA), the date created, status, rating, and any actions assigned to team members for the risk.

Clicking on the risk reveals further information on the risk and allows you to add further details, update the status of the risk, the risk rating or assign actions to different members of your data protection team.

You can download and print Risk Reports for your organization:

  • Risk Actions completed
  • Risk Actions assigned to your data protection team
  • Risk Profile Summary Report
  • Risk Profile Detail Report

In conclusion, a Data Risk Register is a crucial tool for organizations to manage their data protection risks in a structured and systematic manner. By using a Data Risk Register, organizations can prioritize their data protection efforts, allocate resources appropriately, and demonstrate compliance with data protection laws and regulations. The use of tools such as PrivacyEngine's Data Privacy Platform can make the process of maintaining a Data Risk Register much easier and more efficient.

Learn more about our PrivacyEngine Risk Management Solution