If your company did not fall under the reach of the EU GDPR, there’s a good chance the May 25, 2018 deadline passed with little fanfare. While it may have been business as usual for you, many organizations that were affected scrambled to get their data, processes and defenses in order under the new regulations.
Even if your company is not required to follow GDPR, implementing security measures to comply with the regulations is a still smart business move.
Here are five reasons why proactive, voluntary compliance with GDPR makes sense for your business:
- It will make your organization more secure. Attackers know that most companies have vast amounts of sensitive information that’s exposed and unmonitored. Just knowing where sensitive data is, limiting who can access it, and monitoring everything will mean that you limit the potential damage from a breach or ransomware attack and you’ll be showing that your systems have privacy by design. GDPR mandates common sense controls for data. Organizations that follow these guidelines and can show they’ve taken steps to guard their data will be in better shape if a breach occurs.
- It will give your business a competitive advantage. Organizations must restore faith with their customers and partners that mishandle and lose their data to cyber criminals. Under GDPR, companies must use plain language to describe how they are using consumer data and be transparent about the use of personal data. Companies that partner with or sell to other businesses will benefit by adhering to GDPR. Who wants to do business with a company that’s likely to expose your data?
- It will help keep your private data private. EU residents are protected under GDPR’s “right to be forgotten.” A consumer can demand that companies delete everything they know about them – essentially any file containing personal identifying information. Even if your company is not subject to these requests, adhering to GDPR still makes sense. It will ensure you know what sensitive data you have, where it resides and if it’s overexposed. If you are a B2B company, sticking to GDPR guidelines will help you protect your critical sensitive information about your enterprise, partners, employees and customers.
- It will help you gain control of your stale data. Companies are drowning in data that has outlived its business value. In a recent report, we found that, on average, 54 percent of all data on a corporate network was stale. What’s worse, this data commonly included sensitive information on employees, customers, projects and clients. Stale data costs money, increases risk, and provides no value. GDPR mandates that companies delete the data they don’t need to do business and refrain from collecting unnecessary information. By following GDPR guidelines, you can minimize the data you do keep by deleting or archiving old data. You can create new policies outlining how long you keep data and what to do after it’s no longer needed.
- It will prepare your company for future privacy laws. Current regulations won’t be rolled back and GDPR envy is kicking in outside the EU. Legislators are introducing regulations and guidelines to protect consumers in response to the breaches hitting the news almost daily. Voluntary compliance to GDPR will help you prepare for upcoming regulations that may affect your business, including the California Consumer Privacy Act. Get a jump start on future laws by working toward GDPR compliance today.
GDPR sets a precedent for future privacy laws and it’s a catalyst for businesses to assess their risk, remediate issues and gain control of sensitive data. Working toward GDPR compliance will enhance your company’s security efforts and be proactive – not reactive – in tackling security issues and facing threats head on.