In this data-driven world, it is safe to say that compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations will hugely impact a lot of organizations and how businesses process personal data. Under the GDPR, individuals now have the control to know and decide how their personal data is being collected, used, or disclosed. Thus, it is understandable that creating an action plan on how to effectively comply with the GDPR can be an overwhelming and strenuous task. If you are among those who struggle on taking the first steps…
Here are 4 easy steps to give you a kick start:
Step 1: Access and Manage Personal Data
The first step is to locate where all personal data is stored. Under the rules of the GDPR, it is required that companies must know where personal data is or where it isn’t.
It is essential to access all data sources – May it be digitized, hard copies or traditional data storage. This allows you to create an inventory of all the personal data in your organization and assess your current data protection policies. It will provide you with new insights into your business operations—its strengths and threats when it comes to GDPR compliance.
Once you have access to all the data sources, you will now be able to categorize and catalog personal data elements such as names, email addresses, contact numbers, and etc. Since there will be a massive volume of personal data at hand for large scale businesses, having the right tools for this step will make a huge difference in your ability to maintain GDPR compliance.
Step 2: Develop Policies and Processes
Of course, it will be impossible to maintain GDPR compliance without having a formal structure in place. To achieve this, organizational roles must be established and defined:
2.1. Appoint a Data Controller and Data Protection Officer. While the Data Controller determines the purposes, terms and conditions, and means of the processing of personal data, the Data Protection Officer is the person responsible for maintaining accountability and making sure that all data processes are in compliance with the GDPR.
2.2. Brief and Train all members of the organization. The people in the organization or people you work with need to understand the GDPR terms and its provisions, the risks involved with non-compliance, how it will be implemented within the company, and how it will affect them. Make sure everyone is familiar with the GDPR articles. This includes employees, senior management, customers, clients, or any other people involved in the business.
Step 3: Secure Your Data and Evaluate Risks
Another important step in ensuring GDPR compliance is to constantly monitor data, evaluate risks, and establish a strategy for data breaches.
You should make sure that you have the right measures in identifying, reporting, and investigating personal data breaches. More specifically, in case of a breach, prompt action is required. It is important to submit a detailed report on how the data breach happened—the severity, the type of personal data affected, the number of data subjects and the data controllers involved.
Step 4: Monitor, Audit and Provide Detailed Reports
GDPR compliance is not a one-time thing but a continuous process. Thus, regular audits must be scheduled to ensure that the data policies in place are working in accordance to the GDPR.