Why Data Protection Has Global Awareness

Why Data Protection Has Global Awareness

The introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) later this month, has led to data protection becoming a global, not just an EU, phenomenon. 

 

By Stuart Beattie, Product Marketing Director | May 2018

Why Data Protection Has Global Awareness

The introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) later this month, has led to data protection becoming a global, not just an EU, phenomenon. Good data handling practices are the new black and the topic is on everyone’s lips, in all forms, from the EU legislation itself, to the Facebook scandal, to mass data leaks such as Equifax.

The EU’s legislation for how organizations process the privacy data of EU citizens globally has led to a new global awareness about the need for tighter control, more security, and heightened compliance. Other countries are considering implementing similar legislations, such as India, and some already have them in place, such as South Africa’s POPI legislation.

Good data handling practices are highly necessary for organizations to ensure security and compliance and the hype surrounding the GDPR should be seen as a positive, creating awareness about the importance of data protection. As an added bonus, organizations will reap many other benefits.

Raise the bar for privacy data handling

To prepare for the introduction of the GDPR, organizations must thoroughly go through their processes and get in control of their data and how they handle data, something which many now say is just plain good practice. But it does not end there. The GDPR is not a one-off event, but rather a legislation which has raised the bar for good privacy data handling and required organizations to from now on, stay on top of their data. The control must be constant - also on May 26, 2018. Many companies have focused on getting ready for the day itself but fail to think long-term. For many, the GDPR project is now coming to an end, but GDPR does not stop on May 26, it merely becomes operational.

GDPR is a long-term investment. It is the largest update of privacy data laws in decades and while companies are spending vast resources on getting ready in time for May 25, are they spending their time and resources in the best possible way? The introduction of large fines for non-compliance has been headline news, creating much buzz and hype, most of it with a negative angle. Getting ready for the new legislation is costly for organizations and a hassle which must be completed as quickly as possible so as to shift focus back to business again. But the process of data control should be seen more optimistically.

The new license to operate

According to new data, in April 2018 alone, a staggering 72,611,721 records were leaked as a result of data breaches and cyberattacks. Numbers of such a high magnitude suggest many organizations have been sloppy with their data privacy. Control of privacy data is increasingly becoming a license to operate for organizations, public and private alike, and not only are there now fines at stake, there is also the risk of reputation loss at stake.

Control of your privacy data is many things, including identity and access management (IAM). The software solves essential challenges related to access control, an issue that all companies face, and enables organizations to increase security, compliance, and efficiency. This triple benefit makes it a win-win scenario for organization, allowing them to optimize and increase efficiency across the company – in some cases by as much as 95% on processes.

Identity and access management is an efficient tool to achieve compliance with the data security and access management aspects of the GDPR, allowing organizations to implement processes for controlling, managing, and auditing access to data, which is an important prerequisite to reduce risk.

Identity and access management provides built-in, best-practice standards for access management and control, as well as audit reporting, and efficient detection of security violations. Core processes such as identity lifecycle management, managing user access to privacy data, processes for correct onboarding and off-boarding of new employees and contractors when they join and leave the organization, and access governance for monitoring and reviewing of user access rights to privacy data, enabling organizations to maintain a continuous compliance, essential for post May 25.

Use GDPR to create business value

Taking measures to ensure your organization is GDPR compliant is an opportunity for your company to create business values. The steps taken to ensure you are GDPR compliant mean your organization can find new ways to use data, and improve your data management, having even greater access to data. GDPR preparedness also means your company will have a stronger cybersecurity protection and increase audience loyalty and trust, creating business values in many other parts of the organization than ‘just’ the IT department.

It means you as an organization have control of who has access to what data, why, and when, and can increase vital aspects of security and compliance, with added efficiency gains. 

Getting in control of key processes for handling of data have many efficiency gains, such as faster onboarding of new employees and contractors, meaning they can be up and running from day one and automating role management for employees, reducing administrative costs.

Eights steps to compliance

Learn much more about the GDPR here, where you can among others read our eight step guide to GDPR compliance and download our GDPR e-book, a comprehensive guide for how identity and access management can help your organization get in shape for the legislation and reap the many benefits in the process.

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