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What Is GDPR Compliance?

June 15, 2022
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GDPR (The EU General Data Protection Regulation) has been a game-changer for European businesses. Where once enterprises could buy, sell, share, and store customer data with relative freedom, now every organization that operates under GDPR is subject to regulatory compliance requirements. These data protection regulations govern how businesses look after their customers’ personal information—and it isn’t a simple box-ticking exercise.  

As a result, many find they need a team of experts to help them navigate GDPR regulatory requirements, especially when it comes to data protection compliance. So what is GDPR compliance? Read on to find out.

Exploring The Challenges Presented By GDPR

Brands like Amazon, WhatsApp and Google have already been fined for GDPR breaches, showing that huge resources won’t necessarily protect you from non-compliance. In fact, under GDPR, the bigger you are, the harder you fall. Any company that fails to comply can face a fine of up to 4% of annual global revenue, or €20 million, depending on the severity and circumstances of the violation.

Because many GDPR regulations represent best practice security, non-compliance can also heighten other data security risks. And there are lots of them. Gartner® has found that: "the top three concerns in the privacy space include “suffering financial impact from data breaches (excluding fines)” (46%), “losing customers” (45%) and “suffering from reputation damage” (44%).”1

As you might expect, many organizations are responding by increasing their security resources. Gartner has also reported that “privacy budgets are increasing to a mean amount of $1.7 million per year.”1 While increasing budgets will usually help to reduce overall security risk, it’s no guarantee of GDPR compliance. This is due to both the complexity of the rules and the fact that many of the regulations are written in subjective language that could be interpreted in a number of ways.

For example, businesses are expected to take “Every reasonable step… to ensure that personal data which are inaccurate are rectified or deleted.” Sounds fair. But what constitutes reasonable in the eyes of GDPR? Clauses like this make it vital to partner with experts in the regulations that can help you follow precedent and stay on the right side of the law.

The regulations also require constant attention. You can’t just implement a few processes and expect to stay compliant: you need to ensure you’re looking after personal data in the correct way throughout its lifecycle. GDPR mandates that organisations must know where and how the private data of European citizens is stored and accessed, then prove that it is appropriately protected “by design and by default,” with “appropriate technical and organizational measures, such as pseudonymization."

And the rules don’t stop there. GDPR also requires organisations to create and apply codes of conduct to demonstrate the protection of PII—making the regulations a cultural obligation as well as a practical one.

Naturally, all this is designed to give consumers more control over their personal information. The EU has outlined a number of rights that GDPR will ensure consumers will always have access to. They include:

  • The right to be informed that someone’s sharing their data.

  • The right to access the data that’s being shared about them.

  • The right to rectify that data if it’s incorrect.

  • The right to be forgotten after a certain amount of time.

  • The right to restrict the ways in which an organisation processes its personal data.

  • The right to move, copy or transfer personal data easily from one IT environment to another in a safe and secure way.

  • The right to object outright to any business processing their data.

  • A number of rights in relation to automated decision-making and profiling.  

When you’re dealing with such a wide-ranging set of regulations, it pays to work with experts that specialise in various aspects of regulatory compliance, especially when it comes to data protection. Protegrity’s solutions help data-driven organisations comply with GDPR by implementing enterprise-wide protection that meets compliance expectations without compromising business processes.  

Protegrity is the only enterprise data security software platform that helps brands honor obligations to protect personally identifiable information while maintaining its value and usability on-premises, in the cloud, and by third parties, regardless of operating system or application.  

To find out how this platform works, read our next blog: How to Be GDPR Compliant. Alternatively, speak to a member of our team today.  

  1. Gartner, 16 Frequently Asked Questions on Organizations’ Data Protection Programs, Bart Willemsen, Bernard Woo, Refreshed 17 December 2021,10 July 2020.  
  1. https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-2927J1AB&ct=220208&st=sb

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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