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GDPR Compliance in 5 Comprehensive Steps that Protect Your Company from Data Breaches

GDPR Compliance in 5 Comprehensive Steps that Protect Your Company from Data BreachesThe EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) caused a flurry of privacy policy update emails to be generated when it first went into effect on May 25, 2018. But beyond the consumer transparency of this data protection regulation, it also includes requirements that can help your company stay protected from data breaches.

Perhaps one of the most significant updates in consumer privacy in over two decades, GDPR covers a wide scope of data security and data disclosure activities, with the main purpose of protecting personal consumer information that’s collected from EU residents. The rule sets guidelines in place for data collection, storage, transmission, notifications of breaches, and other important mechanisms surrounding how companies handle personal data.

FutureRange offers customized GDPR compliance solutions that help organizations of all sizes ensure they’re meeting the standard and have proper data privacy practices in place.

We’ve found that by breaking down the different compliance areas into comprehensive steps, our clients are better able to integrate them fluidly into their organizational procedures and workflows.

If you’re struggling with GDPR, we’ve put together some simple steps you can take that will boost your cybersecurity and keep you in compliance.

Understanding GDPR Compliance: Simple Steps for Security

The data breach notification requirements of GDPR make it even more costly for companies suffering a hack. On top of the costs of lost productivity, emergency IT attention, and loss of customer trust, a business could get fined as much as 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater.

There have been 89,271 data breach notifications since May 2018 through GDPR.

Thanks to the regulation, organizations have more incentive than ever to reinforce their data security to avoid breaches. Following are some steps you can take to do that and meet GDPR requirements.

Step 1: Access All Data Sources

The first step in controlling and securing your data is understanding where all the data your company collects originates from and where is stored or transmitted and ensuring you have access and proper control over those points.

For example, do you have any third-parties that gather customer or lead contact details for you? That would be a data collection origin point that you’d want to ensure access to. Because you are ultimately responsible for that data, according to GDPR, even if you rely on a third-party vendor.

You need to ensure you know wherever personal data is being collected, stored, or transmitted. Proving that you know this is a GDPR requirement and also good data security practices.

Step 2: Identify the Elements of Personal Data

How are you handling the data now that you’ve identified where it is and that you have access? You want to ensure you’re using the proper tools to parse the individual data fields so you can extract and categorize data elements, like email addresses, phone numbers, etc… This helps to avoid fields becoming disassociated and errors with duplicate or missing data.

Step 3: Organizational Policy and Governance

You’ll need to document your privacy rules and have a written data protection policy for your company. It’s also important to properly train personnel on data handling procedures to ensure everyone understands compliance needs.

Another part of this step is to put into place user rights and permissions on which staff can access or delete personal data. You’ll want to put protocols and security roles in place for personal data from the point of creation to the point of deletion.

Step 4: Protect Personal Data

While that personal data is in your control you need to make sure it’s properly protected from unauthorized access. There are three key techniques used to set up data protection, which include:

  • Encryption
  • Pseudonymization
  • Anonymization

Which you use is generally based upon the user’s rights and usage context.

Putting strong IT security infrastructure into place, such as a firewall and anti-virus and anti-phishing applications are also good security practices that reduce the chance of a data breach. An additional protection is also destroying personal data once you no longer have a need for it.

Step 5: Auditing Your Compliance

This last step is to conduct an audit on your GDPR compliance. This helps ensure you haven’t missed any important areas and also provides necessary reports outlining that your organization:

  • Knows what personal data you have and where it’s located
  • Properly manages appropriate user consent
  • Can show how personal data is used, who uses it, and why
  • Has internal processes in place for compliance requirements such as reporting a data breach and complying with a user request for deletion

GDPR Compliance Simplified

For many organizations, GDPR is a significant learning curve to climb especially when they’re trying to run their business. We can simplify the process with our FutureRange GDPR compliance solutions that are tailored to fit your needs and budget.

Contact us today to get started! Call us in Dublin at +353 1 2960 560, in Cork at +353 21 2427 974 or reach out online.

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