Keeping you up to date with plain language explanations of your obligations and liabilities under data protection law, electronic law and privacy law. With a touch of cybersecurity and trends like blockchain and quantum computing.
Drop the jargon
Your head is probably spinning from the jargon so, before we begin, let's clear up the confusion: it's no longer okay to merely store your customer, client, or employee data, in a disorderly way. It's imperative to protect personal and commercial information in a legally compliant way, and prevent unauthorised access to any information. For that reason, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was created, to enable and shape how companies like yours should protect information relating to your clients, business, and individual personal data. Ensuring your company attracts, accesses, and uses personal data correctly is no longer just an ethical concern; compliance is mandatory, and a legal framework must be adhered to.
Assess and begin
You can't begin to understand just how compliant your company is, without first conducting a thorough assessment of how it handles personal information right now. Moreover, how your business secures that information is key. Luckily, your data management approach and implementation is not an intangible idea. Instead, thanks to the introduction of GDPR and other regulatory frameworks, it's a lot easier to take a responsible, accountable approach to managing personal data. Accountability is vital, so adherence is mandatory. But, in all likelihood, your data management approach may have some gaps or oversights when used in practice, as you operate your business. The gap between theory and practice is never a surprise, no matter what you're working on. But, the gap must be crossed to ensure your business is compliant, no matter how big or small it may be.
There's an app for that
Finding a reliable, easy to understand, and even easier to implement, benchmarking tool to assess where your company stands right now in terms of compliance has just turned simple. Before you begin investing in a data compliance programme to ensure your business is operationally aligned with legal requirements, assessing where you are right now is key. Conducting a company-wide assessment of how personal or commercial data is managed is your starting point, and finding the right framework, service providers, and system to do so, should be your first priority. This is where the ProPrivacy team can help with your initial compliance assessment, using Serity, our online application, made with your compliance needs in mind. Developed in-house, Serity offers you an easy way to benchmark your company's organisational compliance level, and start planning towards improvements and evolution. Once you've established your organisational compliance level as it stands today, it's time to:
Identify the high risk areas
How your business obtains, accesses, and utilises personal information is a fundamental operational principle. And, without a doubt, almost every business process includes some level of personal data management. For an easy to understand example, let's consider the process of finding, recruiting, and placing, new staff. To do this in a moderately successful fashion, your company would have to:
Of course, handling employee data is just one high risk area of your business, where data protection must be a priority at every point.
Prioritise your business requirements
How your company uses and manages data is closely linked to your day-to-day operations. Without the right information, delivered to your team, at the right time, business functions could fall over, systems would stall, and people would be potentially unable to get their jobs done. But, ensuring that information is well secured is imperative. Once you've identified the high risk areas and low risk areas within your business, rank them in terms of priority. Your highest risk areas are the ones you need to act on immediately. And, remember, compliance is not a once-off process; it's an evolving business process. Don't panic if you don't have it all right immediately, but do begin to take action on any gaps and non-compliant data management processes.
Consider remedial actions
Filling the gap between data management theory and practice begins with finding the right solutions for your business. There's no one-size-fits-all solution, because each business is unique in its approach and operations. While the legal frameworks that you're required to comply with enable you to ensure adherence, they don't necessarily offer your business the solution it needs. Create and implement remedial actions that fix the holes in your business' data management processes, to ensure that your company is legally compliant.
Identify key personnel
It's easy to boast about your data protection compliance programme, but who's making sure your company sticks to it, at every level? That's where you'll need to identify key personnel, who take responsibility for ensuring compliance, throughout your company. This may mean hiring new staff members, expanding current team members' job descriptions, or committing your team to new training programmes, so they know how to ensure compliance.
Monitoring and evaluation
You know where your company stands now, in terms of its data protection compliance programme. You've assessed how your business uses personal information, its software, hardware, and physical premises. You've created a road map that'll help your team fix broken data management processes, and ensure legal compliance. Where to next? You'll need to monitor, evaluate, and evolve, your data protection compliance programme:
No matter how big or small your business may be, accountability is key. Ensuring your company complies with the right legislation, and implements responsible data management processes is a business priority. ProPrivacy can help. Get in touch with our team, and we'll help you find the best solution for your data management needs.