Five ways your business can benefit from GDPR, from MetaCompliance’s O’Brien
The countdown is now well and truly on until the biggest shake up of data protection rules in over two decades!
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect on the 25 May and completely overhaul how businesses process and handle data. This will give individuals greater control over who collects and processes their data, what it is used for, and how it is being protected.
The imminent arrival of the GDPR is proving to be a major headache for business owners as they scramble to make sure they are compliant and not liable for the large and crippling fines that will be enforced as a result of non-compliance. A recent report found that 60% of European businesses are still not prepared for the implementation of GDPR.
“Despite the threats of fines and reputational damage, the introduction of the GDPR can be a force for good for businesses. It offers a range of benefits that will enable businesses to become more cyber secure, efficient and competitive within the marketplace”
Despite the threats of fines and reputational damage, the introduction of the GDPR can be a force for good for businesses. It offers a range of benefits that will enable businesses to become more cyber secure, efficient and competitive within the marketplace.
So, what are the benefits? There are a host of benefits that the implementation of GDPR can bring to your business. Here are just a few.
- Enhanced Cybersecurity: Cyber Security breaches are now a major worry for organisations across the globe. According to Microsoft, the potential cost of cyber-crime to the global community is a staggering $500 billion, and a data breach will cost the average company about $3.8 million. As the scale and sophistication of these attacks grows, the GDPR provides an opportunity for security professionals to re-evaluate their cyber security strategies and implement changes that will protect EU Citizens’ personal data.
The GDPR will ensure that only a few people within an organisation will have access to critical data, thereby reducing the chance of personal data falling into the wrong hands. Additionally, the GDPR requires that organisations disclose any personal data breaches to the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours of detection.
These changes in legislation will help organisations reduce the chance of being attacked and lay the groundwork for an improved data security and compliance culture.
- Improved Data Management: Data is one of the most important assets that an organisation holds therefore it is vital that they can demonstrate they are using this data in a legal and transparent manner, in compliance with the GDPR.
Organisations will need to complete a thorough audit to evaluate their current data management processes to determine if changes need to be made. They will need to look at the type of personal data held, where it is held, where it was sourced, length of retention, its use, access rights and how it is shared.
Organisations will be able to identify and get rid of any data that no longer holds any value to the business and reduce the risk of damage should a data breach occur.
Although not mandatory in all cases under GDPR, most organisations will designate a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The DPO will help guide Data Controllers and Data Processors by auditing data and suggesting suitable corrective recommendations where necessary.
The GDPR will help consolidate an organisations data, making it easier to access and use going forward.
- Increased Consumer Confidence: The GDPR will help put consumers back in the driving seat, giving them greater control over how their data is stored and processed.
Consumers are now increasingly aware of the value that their data has to big businesses. The recent Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal has heightened worries and suspicions about just how our data is being used.
The new legislation specifies that organisations must conduct regular audits of data processing activities and comply with a set of data protection principles that will help safeguard data. This will ensure that a suitable framework is in place that will keep personal identifiable information of customers secure.
By demonstrating GDPR compliancy, companies are likely to benefit from reduced organisational risk and build greater levels of trust with their customers. This transparency will in turn enhance brand reputation and lead to the development of more meaningful relationships with customers.
- Improved Return on Investment: The introduction of the GDPR will bring a range of improvements and cost savings to IT management. Organisations will need to assess their current security strategy and identify areas where changes need to be made. The majority of cyber-attacks are financially motivated so the implementation of the GDPR will force organisations to look more closely at how they can safeguard this data rather than hastily reacting to a cyber-attack and incurring costs after an attack has taken place.
The GDPR also brings the opportunity for businesses to improve their marketing return on investment (ROI). The new legislation requires that organisations must have a data subject’s full consent in order to process their personal data. Once organisations streamline their databases, they will be able to identify and communicate with those customers that are genuinely interested in hearing from them. Marketing campaigns will be more focussed and defined, and budgets will be spent more wisely.
- Positive Organisational Change: GDPR is a great opportunity for organisational change and enables businesses to demonstrate greater levels of transparency, accountability and responsibility in how they are storing and using personal data.
The level of awareness and concerns around data security has never been greater. Consumers are all too aware how their personal data can be abused in the wrong hands. Organisations need to demonstrate they are taking all the necessary steps to protect this data and ensure good information governance.
If organisations can demonstrate to existing and potential customers just how seriously they take their privacy this can result in greater levels of trust, transparency and creates an opportunity for competitive advantage.
The implementation of the GDPR will undoubtedly transform how organisations handle data going forward. Despite the difficulties that come with this transitional phase, it brings with it a wealth of opportunities that can benefit organisations and strengthen their performance within the marketplace.
To find out how MetaCompliance can help streamline your GDPR compliance strategy see here.
Robert O’Brien is CEO of MetaCompliance