With more people entrusting their data to cloud services, the Privacy Protection Regulation (GDPR) clarifies the harsh stance the EU has decided to take on the issue.
The regulation was put into effect on May 25, 2018, imposing heavy fines on those who violate GDPR, with penalties reaching a maximum of € 20 million or 4% of global revenues, whichever is higher, leaving the organization open to claims by private citizens for damages.
The regulation itself is poorly defined and quite amorphous, discouraging GDPR compliance, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are unsure how to approach it.
We will try to break down the regulation in a clear, detailed way that will allow you as a business owner to understand how to meet the strict and important standards in the cyber world.
What Is GDPR?
The GDPR is considered to be the strictest privacy protection law in the world, regulations that impose obligations on organizations offering goods or services to EU citizens or residents, and/or collecting data related to people in the EU, regardless of the organization’s physical location.
The new privacy protection regulations were formulated following far-reaching changes in the business world and the use of the Internet – the latest data protection laws were enacted in the 1990s, and since then technology has advanced and the way data is used and stored has become a wild west.
The regulation gives private individuals, called data subjects, control over the processing of their data.
What Is Personal Data?
Personal data is any information that can be used to identify a person such as:
- ID numbers
- Email Addresses
- Health Records
- Religious beliefs
- Physical and psychological condition
- Cultural/social identity
Processing – any action or set of actions on personal data that is performed by automatic/manual means.
Data Processing Principles
As stated above, the Privacy Protection Regulations are general and not detailed. The GDPR defines basic principles for the processing of personal data of data subjects:
Organizations should only process personal information when justified. The GDPR defines 6 reasons why companies are allowed to process personal data.
Most organizations are aiming for the consent of the data subjects, however, this is the loosest criterion, as consent can be withdrawn at any time.
Furthermore, withdrawal of consent must be as accessible and easy as it was to give it, and the law provides that withdrawal can be made by any means of media. When the person withdraws his consent the organization must delete all personal data.
Data Subjects Rights
When starting the compliance process, organizations must aspire to keep data subject rights that the GDPR states as guidelines
Benefits Of The GDPR
Bureaucracy is a headache, but there are many benefits to the GDPR that concern not only private individuals but also organizations and businesses. The new law promotes greater transparency and accountability and aims to increase public trust by giving individuals more control over the data.
In addition, organizations and businesses that implement the GDPR standard are better protected from current cyber threats, thus keeping their work environment private and properly maintained.
How To Become GDPR Compliant?
Access and Mapping – The first step towards GDPR compliance is to research and map which personal data is stored and used on the organization’s platform. Direct access to all data sources is a prerequisite for building an inventory of personal data so that exposure to cyber risks related to privacy can be assessed. The regulation requires organizations to prove that they know where personal data is – and where they are not.
Identification – Examining access to information sources and identifying personal data. It is important to note that sometimes personal data is buried in semistructured fields, and organizations need to be able to analyze these fields to extract, classify, and catalog personal data components such as names, email addresses, and ID numbers.
This process must be done by automated tools due to the massive amount of data. Beyond analysis and classification, the organization is committed to adjusting data quality according to levels – pattern identification, data quality, and standardization. Using the right tools will make a big difference in your ability to maintain GDPR compliance.
Organizational conduct – DPO appointment – After comprehensive mapping and analysis, senior management must implement the recommendations that arose following the information. The conduct of the Company’s employees and the appointment of officials to maintain the conduct of protecting information privacy is an essential component in complying with the GDPR.
If your organization owns, or owns, these databases, and if it belongs to one of the following sectors:
- Public Sector
- Credit ratings and evaluation
- Insurance Company
The organization must then appoint a Data Security Officer, or DPO – Data Protection Officer, who will be responsible for documenting the information processing. This includes the legal basis that allows the usage of personal data, verifying the accessibility of withdrawing consent and exercising the right to be forgotten of data subjects.
Due to the complexity of the process of complying with privacy regulations, it is important to work closely with a cyber security company that specializes in international cyber compliance.