Need, Challenges, and Impact of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation

The Data Protection Directive regulated and safeguarded the movement of information around and outside EU since 1995. However, the active involvement of today’s population on the internet has caused an increase in cybercrimes giving rise to the need for stricter laws and standards, which is the reason for The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will replace the Data Protection Directive when it becomes enforceable from 25 May 2018.

Since its announcement, companies operating within EU, or having customers in EU, have been jittery sorting out the impact of the GDPR. ACTSupport has kept a keen eye on the development of the GDPR, restructuring the policies as and when needed. Here are few things you need to know about the GDPR.

The Need For GDPR

Every company today deals with customers online, and there is a constant flow of personal information occurring digitally. With cyberattacks on vulnerable networks and infrastructure and leaks by careless employees, data has never been more fragile. This is exactly why ACTSupport has always stressed on timely upgrades and security measures.

To safeguard personal data, companies dealing with information must follow strict protocol and safety measures, and the GDPR aims to enforce this behaviour by law. Companies who have been hesitant to add additional safety measures probably due to costs will now have to comply or face a tough fine, which is a major relief for customers who provide sensitive information.

The GDPR will have a positive impact on businesses in the long run. Knowing that companies are following a mandated guideline builds trust, and this means companies can easily establish credibility. Additionally, clients will be more willing to share information, knowing that it is in safe hands.

Challenges Organizations Face

The foremost concern is the timeframe organizations have to comply with the GDPR. The regulation limits itself to personal data which seems like a limited scope, but its real interpretation is much broader. Considering the number of devices every individual owns and the amount of data constantly flowing through, the scope broadens considerably. Large organizations serving multiple EU clients have a very short timeframe to assess impact, scale-up cybersecurity, and update policies to meet the new requirements.

Transfer of personal data is another challenge. If data is being ported from one service provider to another or being migrated, the data owner has to be assured that the old data is wiped out and the previous service providers no longer have access to it.

Non-compliance with the GDPR will result in a fine, which puts organizations under stress to complete assessment and document overhauling before its instatement.

Needless to say, we at ACTSupport have been aligning with the GDPR well in advance to ensure we are ready when it is enforced.

Impact on non EU companies

Whether companies like it or not, GDPR is here to stay. EU companies that outsource their data related tasks to non EU companies will have to take extra measures to vet companies and ensure their policies are aligned to the GDPR. As an EU customer looking to outsource, here are aspects ACTSupport has already incorporated, which you must look for in any company:

EU customers will have the right to provide or withdraw consent and question the security measures of the company that is serving them. Ensure the organization’s policies are aligned with the GDPR.

Companies who offer their employees benefits like work from home or those that hire freelancers will have to restructure their system. Employees working from home will have to adhere to strict non-disclosure rules and the company will be held responsible for ensuring all data transfer happens over a secure network.

Picking a company that has been in the security line for a long time is the safest option. Hiring freelancers come with an inherent risk. Companies that have always practiced strict security standards will seamlessly upgrade to comply with the GDPR, and this is exactly what every business should look at.