The 25th day of May 2018 was a significant milestone in protecting the data security rights of the users. The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes fully operational from this date.
Although everyone was informed about it, most of the companies are still not ready for it.
Many of them don’t know what does it mean? They aren’t clear about the compliance norms.
And they do not have much idea about the penalties if an organization is found noncompliant (or if there is some security breach).
It is crucial to know the criticality of GDPR and what steps should be taken to become GDPR compliant.
Personal data collection becomes an integral part of the business
Almost every business collects personal information in some form or the other.
Whether it is the client’s details or customer profiles, vendor data or credentials of channel partners; it is inevitable to have it.
Because of the GDPR, a business shouldn’t have any security incident or vulnerability related to the personal information of business associates.
The GDPR expects every business to take efforts to keep the possibility of security breach zero, especially for the citizens of the European Union.
An organization must make adequate arrangements to ensure GDPR compliance because a security breach attracts heavy penalties and fine.
What will you do to become GDPR compliant?
As far as taking concrete steps to avoid GDPR non-compliance is concerned, here are some essential things you must do.
Each member of the team must know the ropes of it
‘Knowledge is power’. Yes, the more you know about something, the more equipped you are.
Everyone in your team (internal and extended) must acquire the nitty-gritty of GDPR.
Your employees, managers, business leaders, business associates and channel partners (if you are responsible for non-compliance happens by them); everyone must be on the same page.
They must know that personal data is the most precious thing in the new regime. Hence, it should be handled with care.
Training and awareness programs are required to make people knowledgeable. Multiple rounds of training sessions can be organized if required.
Assess the risk
You should know the threat first, before you think about mitigating it.
It is astonishing but true that many business managers do not know what personal data they possess exactly?
After GDPR, it is mandatory to know what data is being collected, what is the purpose of collecting personal data, and who is collecting the same?
For every bit of the data, the organization is answerable. GDPR requires a thorough information audit. All audit remarks need to be explained comprehensively.
In short, you must fasten the seatbelts and start assessing the data volume and compliance before doing anything else.
Make data policies
Apart from gathering the relevant information and being compliance ready, you need to sit with the tea and formulate a data security policy if it doesn’t exist.
If you already have it, then make sure it fulfills the GDPR standards.
The data security policy should deal with:
The list is not all-inclusive. You should have multiple rounds of discussion with the team to find out other salient aspects that should be part of the data security policy.
Keep the data consent requests ready
GDPR says that every organization must have explicit, unambiguous consent from the subjects to use the personal data.
There are guidelines to obtain lawful and valid data consent request. It says that the person signifies an agreement to process personal data relating to him or her.
If an organization already has the consent, then it should be reviewed to make in line with the standard consent form. Else, there could be a non-compliance issue.
Make sure your data management procedures are right
You shouldn’t forget that your responsibility doesn’t get over by providing enterprise-wide data security. In the GDPR provisions, you should give access to the data to data subjects.
As per the norms, a subject can demand access to their data for checking accuracy, accessibility, and audit.
Clients can ask an electronic copy of the same. They can request for deletion of their personal information as well.
If the enterprise is unable to do it, then it may not be compliant with the GDPR. It could attract penalties and fines.
Experts say that it is a non-negotiable thing. Hence, the organizations should start making the necessary arrangement to accommodate the provision as early as possible.
Procedure to handle security breaches
In the GDPR, every organization is expected to develop and maintain a fully-functional method to record security breaches.
When the incident occurred, what data was compromised, what is the status of vulnerability, and what measures are taken to prevent a breach in future; all this information needs to be given.
The procedure will have to be in place without fail.
Appoint a DPO (Data Protection Officer) if required
You must assess the need for appointing a Data Protection Officer in your organization. He is responsible for making data protection policies and implementing the same at every level in the organization.
He also acts as the SPOC (Single Point of Contact) for authorities who investigate security incidents.
It is important to note that the DPO is a high-level position in the hierarchy (typically he reports to the CEO). He possesses relevant qualification and experience to perform the responsibilities assigned to him.
Since it could be a daunting task to find a suitable person for the post, experts suggest that organizations must do it as early as possible.
Don’t underestimate the third-party risks
After GDPR, you can be held responsible for a security breach happening while the data is processed or controlled by your third-party agency.
Therefore, don’t underestimate that threat. Look into every bit of the data protection policy and evaluate the procedures or policies that are being managed by the vendors.
Feeling suppressed? Well, it is difficult but not impossible to manage GDPR. You need to proceed systematically; that’s it!