How do you describe your job to average people?
I am an attorney working with clients on the many legal issues related to technology, data sharing and transfer, corporate compliance under U.S. privacy laws and regulations, along with information security and corporate risk management.
Why did you get into the privacy practice?
As an in-house lawyer for a Fortune 1000 company, I was tasked with creating a privacy program. We aligned the legal, risk, audit, IT and HR departments on privacy and information security. It was an incredible learning experience involving all aspects of the business, and I decided I wanted to do this for other companies as well.
What was one of your biggest challenges?
My biggest challenge was starting this new practice at Nelson Mullins from scratch. Our leadership understood – even before data breaches were headline news – the value of privacy and security strategies. This evolving area of law continues to grow, and the demand for legal services has begun to increase exponentially.
What keeps you up at night?
I work very hard during the day to make sure that nothing keeps me up at night, but I am mindful of ensuring that we consistently deliver demonstrable value to our clients.
What makes you most proud?
When we have solved a difficult problem for a business, and it thrives and prospers as a result.
How can IT security improve to better protect data?
IT security leaders need to be strong and persuasive advocates, but also be servant leaders of the business. This is accomplished through good communication, emotional intelligence and respect for each department in the organization. Effective information security leaders can inspire organizations to be more vigilant, more aware and better stewards of their sensitive data.
David F. Katz leads the privacy and information security practice at Nelson Mullins.