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Countdown to compliance: Ensure you're ready!

The second in our 3-part blog series for the annual awareness campaign - European Cyber Security Month.

Countdown to compliance: Ensure you're ready!

How to prepare your organisation for the new EU Directives and Regulations such as the GDPR

In a digital world which is constantly evolving and packed full of new developments businesses have to adapt – technologically, economically, and legally – to stay ahead of the curve and ensure they are compliant with the latest regulations.

Amongst the most current examples is the changes in data protection legislation which come into effect in less than a year (May 2018) under the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A replacement of the Data Protection Act (DPA) which is currently into effect, the EU personal data regulations are being put into place to enforce new rules on the handling and storage of personal data by businesses.

We’ve pulled together all the key information you need to know ahead of next spring to make sure your company is ready:

What exactly is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

Implemented by the European Union governing bodies - the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission - the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) endeavours to create a set of unified, strengthened data protection principles for all citizens of the EU.

The main aim of the regulation is for all 27 EU member countries to do away with the legal ambiguities surrounding personal data collection which have arisen with the upsurge of cloud networking and social media and put in place up-to-date, standardised data protection laws.

In light of recent rise in data leaks, and consequentially concerns about sensitive personal information being vulnerable to cyber criminals, authorities consider the GDPR to be long overdue and would not be lenient with companies who fail to comply with the new regulations.

How do the new EU Regulations affect my business?

Businesses of all sizes collect and store personal details online, and use this data for a number of digital activities – from customer relationship management to marketing and sales. This means the GDPR would most probably affect your organisation whether you’re an SME or a large firm.

What’s more, even though the new regulations will take place simultaneously with UK’s leaving the European Union, it’s highly anticipated that as part of the Great Repeal Act the GDPR would be converted to British wall.

Furthermore, the regulations apply to all companies who collect and store the personal data of European citizens, regardless of whether they have physical premises in the EU. In other words, all business trading in/with the EU would be bound by the regulations.

How to prepare my organisation for the upcoming GDPR regulations?

When dealing with complex regulations such as the EU’s GDPR, businesses face a vast number of challenges, especially if they are aiming to incorporate the regulations with a complex cloud-based network (which is now an essential element of most companies’ IT infrastructure).

The main things to consider in preparation for the new regulations are governance and accountability. All companies processing EU data would be expected to comply with these two key principles by ensuring they have good practice tools in place (privacy impact assessments, privacy by design, etc.), documenting all data processing procedures and keeping a detailed record of individuals’ consent to having their personal data stored and used (as well as being able to permanently delete said data in a timely manner should consent be withdrawn).

The best route to understanding how the GDPR will affect your business is having a specialist IT team asses the personal data you store and the way in which it’s being used. You would then be able to determine how to best protect this data from cyber-attacks and breaches to ensure you are compliant with the GDPR regulations when they come into force.

Your transformation starts here.