In the data conscious world we find ourselves in, we’re beginning to feel more confident that businesses who have our personal information are protecting it. By the same token, business owners are needing to make sure they’re protecting the personal data they collect, hold, use and share.
For businesses with clients in Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation makes the protection of data a legal requirement, and very much affects the way businesses are going to run going forward. Compliance with the GDPR has been mandatory since May 2018 and, although many businesses especially small to medium-sized aren’t yet compliant, it’s becoming more vital for them to become compliant by the day. The trouble is that many small to medium-sized businesses are still seeing the process as an administrative and logistical nightmare.
Those who can afford to take on a lawyer to get themselves GDPR compliant may do so, but the expense is huge and the majority of the task doesn’t even require a lawyer’s expertise.
Tasks that lead to compliance include working out where and how personal data flows through a company (this is called data mapping), putting systems in place to be able to manage data breaches and data access requests, training staff in data privacy and ensuring that everyday actions are taken with the intent to protect all the personal data you have and process.
These tasks don’t need a lawyer. You can hire a data protection officer to oversee them, or assign members of staff to take on roles in-house, but with a lot less effort you can use purpose-built compliance software to manage the whole process. Right at the end, you can then use a lawyer to validate all the elements of your GDPR compliance and ‘sign-off’ the process.
Using GDPR software to become compliant on your own is straightforward and economical. It breaks the process down into logical steps and takes uncertainty of the equation because, by following the steps set out by the software, you’ll see for yourself how data flows through your company, where your privacy risks and protection shortfalls are, and what you need to do to fix them.
The seven steps
Using GDPR software, you’ll need to allow about three months to work through the seven steps required to become GDPR compliant. These steps include:
1. Introducing data protection by design to your new and current systems i.e. making sure your systems have data protection built into them from the outset, or modifying current systems if that’s possible.
2. Teaching every employee in your business about the impact of the GDPR and what they need to do to protect data in the way they work.
3. Putting contracts in place to show your legal basis for keeping and processing personal data.
4. Composing privacy notices to display on your website or counters so your customers know how you intend to look after their personal information.
5. Gaining consent to keep, use or share the personal data you have or intend to collect.
6. Putting in place a system for deleting personal data if you’re asked to.
7. Being able to show records of your compliance trail, i.e. evidence that you’re on the road to becoming and remaining compliant.
GDPR software such as GDPR365 has been designed to make the compliance process easy for businesses. It enables you to get your compliance documentation in place and train your employees in data privacy and protection.
Using compliance software you can also manage your responses to a data breach, report personal data breaches to the authorities and protect your business from the risk of a bad reputation. GDPR365 shows you how to provide personal data to data subjects, and to respond to subject access requests within the required 30-day period.
What many small to medium-sized businesses don’t yet realise, is that it’s possible to become compliant on your own, with good guidance. So before you call a lawyer and give the whole process away at an exorbitant price, have a look at what compliance software can do for you.
Better still, take a free 14-day trial of GDPR compliance software and get started with your compliance journey.