“New Oil” or “21st Century Gold” are common colloquial terms for today’s data. As a result, data is of prime interest to every hacker. Information related to individuals and organizations with high spending power is a prime target.
The European Union (EU), which has led the fight for individuals’ rights to privacy, has taken great pains to ensure information security—especially of personal information—through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This regulation applies to all entities that conduct business in the European Union. Although an organization may not have its physical presence in the EU, it will come under the purview of GDPR if it’s conducting business in the EU or dealing with EU citizens. Moreover, GDPR addresses the transfer of personal data to locations external to the EU.
Violation of the GDPR law attracts heavy penalties. The costs associated with an organization’s reputation eroding due to a breach, however, are much more.
This blog describes 5 ways in which GDPR enhances the level of trust customers place in your organization’s information security measures.
5 Ways in which GDPR promotes data security in your organization
1. Proactive incident response
On average, companies take up to eight months to identify and remediate data breaches.
Though, GDPR provides guidance on incident reporting, containment, and mitigation.; incident response is critical to limiting the financial, human, and reputational cost of a breach.
By incorporating early planning for incident response, companies ensure swift containment of data breaches to minimize any adverse effects.
This provision will drastically reduce incident response time, which now averages at 6 months or longer.
Security information and event management (SIEM) software collate event data to identify vulnerabilities. Consequently, you can plan for incidents based on known vulnerabilities. SIEM software also generates instant alerts when a suspicious event occurs. Alerts drive timely responses to contain and mitigate malicious activity.
2. Data Protection Officer (DPO) = ownership
GDPR, at a minimum, only requires the designation of a DPO. With a responsible individual and competent person taking ownership, information security becomes proactive not reactive.
Responsibilities of a DPO include:
● Carrying out internal audits to verify compliance
● Maintaining data logs to support external audits
● Mentoring employees on the importance of GDPR compliance
● Interface with authorities overseeing GDPR compliance.
Moreover, Article 37 of the law stipulates that the DPO should be competent to understand data protection practices and legalities.
A DPO can use the services of a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) to delegate the more complex responsibilities of this role. As a result, the DPO focuses on their core, revenue-generating, role while ensuring GDPR compliance.
3. Transparency leads to accountability
GDPR requires a log of risks and a record of how an organization’s compliance with data security guidelines has improved over time. With clear documentation of the risks and an explicit record of compliance progress, all stakeholders feel the urgency to ensure that this log presents a favorable picture in regards to their organization’s data protection safeguards.
Increasingly, customers are demanding evidence of an organization’s internal security measures. Such transparency ensures accountability from all stakeholders and personnel.
4. Investment in data protection safeguards are relatively cheap
Data security implementation under GDPR guidelines is a good investment compared to the potential outflows for not being compliant.
That’s because GDPR demands inordinately high penalties for breaches, often extending to 20 million Euros or 4% of the company’s global turnover—whichever is higher. By imposing heavy costs for every breach, the EU motivates organizations to invest more in security.
In addition, expensive lawsuits constitute a heavy risk to companies operating in Europe. On the first day of GDPR implementation in 2018, Google and Facebook faced lawsuits totaling $9.3billion.
5. Your personal information is much-loved by hackers
Hackers use personal data to extract money through ransomware.
GDPR requires stringent safeguards around personal data. Organizations that fail to comply have to pay stiff, even prohibitive, penalties. This spurs companies into investing more time, effort, and money in GDPR and its implementation.
Article 4(1) of the GDPR clarifies what constitutes Personal Data. It is any “…information…related to an identified or identifiable natural person.”
Sensitive information under GDPR include
● Location Data
● Identification Numbers
● IP Addresses
● Physical Attributes
● Social (ability to blackmail)
GDPR translates directly into customer benefits and revenues
Customers are highly sensitive about their privacy and consequently their personal information.
An organization demonstrating special safeguards around the storage, use, and transmission of its customers’ data earns their trust. This trust translates to a premium for the organization’s products and services, especially among its high-value European consumers.
Though GDPR does come with some initial overheads, in the long-run, its benefits far outweigh its liabilities.
Now, navigate the cybersecurity maze with Aquia Solutions, a trusted IT security company. Contact us for a no obligations GDPR consultation.