Time is running out for businesses to adjust before the introduction of GDPR. The General Data Protection Regulation, to give it its full name, is coming into force to ensure that consumer or employee data remains digitally secure. This new EU-wide guidance should mean a fair opportunity for all businesses relating to regulators, but there are vital steps business owners should be taking to ensure that, come May 2018, they’re ready for GDPR. Here are three things to keep in mind:

Safety First

Sharing your data can have serious consequences if the right safety and security measures aren’t in place. Customers and users are therefore increasingly safety-conscious when it comes to vendors requesting their personal information. With the arrival of GDPR, it’s even more important for businesses to clearly communicate with their consumers and demonstrate their compliance to build trust.

Knowledge is Power

Companies need a full and working overview of the flow of their personal data, end-to-end. Understanding and becoming compliant with GDPR relies on knowledge of where private data is held, how it is secured, who has access to it and when and where it moves. For any business that wants to hold or process privileged information, proving that they aren’t vulnerable to potential privacy breaches is essential. Know your private data, and your right to hold it, in detail. In large enterprises, Excel sheet documentation will not be enough. For smaller enterprises, inexpensive solutions to data management outweigh the financial and reputational consequences of being irresponsible with your customers’ data.

Understanding and becoming compliant with GDPR relies on knowledge of where private data is held, how it is secured, who has access to it and when and where it moves.

Fail to Prepare, and Prepare to Fail

In the long term, it doesn’t pay to take a risk with GDPR — companies gambling on their existing infrastructures being suitable for new regulatory interpretation could receive an unpleasant surprise on 25 May 2018. Most stakeholders believe that GDPR will see that private data is required to be handled extremely delicately — this would be unsurprising for the legislation based on a long-standing directive. Therefore, to stay compliant, companies need to have consumer privacy in mind for every interaction they plan out.

As the countdown to GDPR continues, we’ll be sharing further advice and guidance for business owners. Watch this space!

Kindy Flyvholm

Kindy is a Programme Manager at Teradata, MSP, CIPP/E, currently advising global enterprises on steps to be taken leading up to GDPR. Her focus is on guiding companies in the use of automation to help solve some of GDPR’s hardest challenges in companies with legacy systems, structured, and unstructured data. Kindy is also a speaker and lecturer in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Project Management, among other subjects, and is an entrepreneur with five past businesses.

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