Compliance Guide Guide

Why does GDPR compliance need cybersecurity expertise? 

Why does GDPR compliance need cybersecurity expertise? 

What is GDPR? 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data privacy law that was adopted by the EU in 2016 and was mandated to be adhered to by EU members in 2016. Later, GDPR became accepted as a golden standard of data protection globally.   

GDPR emphasizes on establishment of a framework for the collection, processing, storage, and transfer of personal data. It requires organizations to take measures to ensure the secure processing of personal data. 

What is personal data as per GDPR? 

According to GDPR, personal data is any data that is used to identify a person, which as per GDPR, is termed a “natural identifiable person”.  It includes all kinds of personal data that is sensitive like names, numbers, addresses, email addresses, and even cookies and IP addresses! 

To whom does GDPR apply? 

It applies to all the members of the EU and the countries that form part of the European Economic Area (EEA). It means that it applies to all the organizations that are based in the EU or are offering products or services to citizens of the EU or engaging in any kind of monitoring of their behavior. 

What are the guiding principles of GDPR? 

The GDPR revolves around seven guiding principles for data protection. These principles include: 

  1. Lawfulness, Fairness, and Transparency 
  2. Purpose Limitation 
  3. Data Minimization 
  4. Accuracy 
  5. Storage Limitation 
  6. Integrity and Confidentiality 
  7. Accountability 

In addition to the seven principles, the GDPR also requires data controllers and processors to take measures to secure the data of their customers: 

  • Record Keeping  
  • Security Measures 
  • Data Breach Notification 
  • Data Protection Officer 

Some interesting facts worth considering 

  • In a CISCO survey, it was found that 90% of respondents refused to buy from a company that doesn’t know how personal data will be processed or has no measures to protect data. 
  • As per SurveyMonkey 45% of EU citizens are worried about their data privacy  
  • 81% of customers agreed that the way an organization treats customer data reflects how it respects its customers (CISCO) 
  • 93% of organizations believe privacy is one of the top 10 organizational risks (IAPP & KPMG) 
  • 97% of corporate respondents said GDPR had a positive impact on data protection and privacy (CISCO)   

Why is cybersecurity an important part of GDPR? 

The GDPR requires organizations to adopt best practices for data protection and privacy. It also requires organizations to secure sensitive personal data and report incidents to the relevant authorities. All of these are essential aspects of cybersecurity. Therefore, cybersecurity plays a primary role in adherence to GDPR guidelines. The guidelines require organizations to use their judgment or seek expert consultation for adherence to compliance. 

What are the different kinds of data that need to be protected, as per GDPR? 

The following are the different kinds of data that are required to be protected, as per the GDPR: 

  • Names  
  • Identification Numbers  
  • Location Data  
  • Identifiable characteristics, whether physical, physiological, genetic, commercial, cultural, or social  
  • Contact information, including telephone numbers and addresses 
  • Credit card numbers or banking details 
  • Personnel or customer numbers 
  • Account data 

Apart from the above, GDPR applies to the following sensitive personal data:  

  • Generic, Biometric and Health Data 
  • Racial and Ethical data  
  • Political affiliations 
  • Religious affiliations or ideological convictions 
  • Trade union memberships 

There are some best practices that can help make the GDPR compliance journey smoother.  

Some best practices that align with GDPR 

  • Implementation of robust Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools and policies 
  • Implementation of a comprehensive Data Loss Prevention solution 
  • Development and implementation of a cybersecurity training program, including Data Privacy Training  
  • Enable data obfuscation techniques 
  • Deploy Endpoint Protection 
  • Implementation of Insider Risk Management solutions for higher-risk organizations or industries 
  • Develop and implement an Incident Response Plan

For many businesses, implementing the best practices by themselves, without any expertise or a limited team for cybersecurity and compliance expertise, can be a big challenge.  

Let us look at some of the common challenges faced upon approaching GDPR.   

What are the consequences of GDPR non-compliance? 

GDPR follows a two-tier mechanism for penalization in case of non-compliance. It includes: 

  • Tier 1: violation results in a maximum fine of either 10 million Euros or 2% of annual revenue globally whichever is higher 
  • Tier 2: violation results in a maximum fine of 20 million Euros or 4% of the annual revenue globally whichever is higher 

Meta paid $1.3 billion, Amazon $780.9 million, and  Instagram (Meta Platforms Limited) $ 442 million for violation of GDPR guidelines in 2023 

What are the challenges to GDPR compliance?  

GDPR has become a globally accepted standard for data protection and privacy. Increased countries are adopting the measures and best practices recommended in the GDPR because of its success in effectively securing personal data to its original integrity.  

In an age where businesses are accelerating towards digital avenues, it becomes critical to implement benchmarked practices for keeping the most sensitive data safe. It assures brand loyalty and stakeholder trust.  

However, businesses struggle with limited teams, lack of awareness, low prioritization, limited budget, and many other reasons. Building a well-rounded team that helps them stay cyber secure while staying compliant in a regulatory environment constantly subject to change is often a challenge.   

How does SharkStriker help? 

GDPR is one of the most complex compliances in the world, with many specific measures requiring a degree of knowledge and expertise in cybersecurity and compliance. It can seem a challenging task to approach compliance.  

SharkStriker offers a dedicated team with expertise in cybersecurity and compliance, helping businesses solve complex bottlenecks specific to their industry. With round-the-clock support and guidance at each step, they help stay up-to-date and compliant, as per the latest guidelines. SharkStriker follows a systematic approach to assist organizations with the GDPR compliance journey. It encompasses the following steps.

Scoping: It is the first step where we draw a detailed scope of the compliance journey encompassing the parts to be covered and the impacting people, processes, and technology.   

Risk Assessment: Next, we engage in a 360-degree assessment of security risks, using VAPT, across the infrastructure using real-world techniques, categorizing risks as per severity. Based on the assessment, we draw a detailed set of recommendations. 

Gap Assessment: We compare all the status-quo measures against the recommended measures to identify gaps in cybersecurity and compliance. 

Risk Treatment Plan: Based on the above assessments, we prepare a detailed plan to treat all the risks across the posture, recommending the measures, controls, expertise, technology, and resources.    

Implementation:  We implement the risk treatment plan with the right resources, people, and technology. 

Post-implementation Audit: We conduct a post-implementation assessment to ensure that nothing has gone wrong while implementing and all the aspects are covered. 

Training and Awareness: To mitigate human error due to awareness and ensure consistent participation across levels in the compliance journey, we develop training and awareness modules and conduct awareness training to bridge GDPR awareness gaps.

Experience a seamless GDPR compliance journey with SharkStriker 

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