It is the Bradman Vs Sobers debate between CISOs and DPOs

Cricket followers have long debated who is greater between Sir Don Bradman and Sir Gary Sobers. As a Batsman, Don Bradman was incomparable in the value he brought to his team. But a person like Gary Sobers with his all-round skills as a Batsman and a bowler who could bowl both fast and spin exhibited an amazing skill which made him a person of high utility to any team. Cricket is a team game which can accommodate both Bradman and Sobers in one team and the team will be richer with the contribution of both.

The corporate scenario which we now observe with the advent of the position of a DPO (Data Protection Officer) in to the  corporate CxO team  that consists of the CISO, CTO, CCO and the CRO besides  the CEO will now sport a similar debate. Some companies may try to create the position as a CPO instead of a DPO or perhaps a CDPO with DPOs for different divisions which will ease the problem of bringing in harmony between the two key players.

With the DPO being seen as the protector of the 4% penalty (calculated on global turnover)  that most Data Protection Laws seem to fancy, the management would like the DPO to be involved in more top management decisions than what they would expect from the CISO.

While the CISO is presently taking responsibility for securing both the personal data and the non personal data in the current day scenario, the DPO is snatching away the responsibility for the protection of the Personal Data. Though the volume of personal data in an organization is always less than the total data that the CISO was hitherto managing, the role of a DPO is more complex and challenging.

A DPO has to not only manage the legal issues but should also be on top of the technology. He has to be a true allrounder and be able to manage both internal responsibilities as well as the external relationships with the regulator and the data principals.

In view of the complexities involved in the work of a DPO, a versatile player like Sobers will have to be treated with equal respect even though he may be a new entrant into a team which already has Don Bradman in it. For the CEO, having both in the team is great as long as he is able to keep both motivated enough.

For those who are today neither a Bradman or  a Sobers, but are still recognized as a leading player, the role model to follow is clear…

To be a Bradman and open the innings and come back to contribute only in the next innings or To be a Sobers and come down the order and continue to contribute as a bowler even when the opposition is batting. A Sobers will be relevant in all the 4 innings of a test match while Bradman will be relevant in only two.

I suppose the argument of who you would like to be is clear…. the DPO is the preferred destination for every Information security professional or a Legal professional.

An opportunity to move in this direction strikes you now with the upcoming DPO training being offered by FDPPI… A 36 hour online training to accredit “Certified PDP-CMS Auditor” with the knowledge of Indian laws, foreign laws and Audit skills. .. Time to join without delay. (Registration closes on June 10, 2021)


(P.S: Using the analogy to pay  tributes to the two legends of the game of cricket which has given endless hours of enjoyment to our life….Naavi)


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About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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