Simplifying GDPR Compliance Through Smart Software

The introduction of new regulations can create challenges for organisations worldwide, and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was no exception, leading to businesses overhauling how they process and handle data.

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Written by: alcumus
11th October

The introduction of new regulations can create challenges for organisations worldwide, and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was no exception, leading to businesses overhauling how they process and handle data.

GDPR has now been in place for just over three years and has modernised the laws that protect the personal information of individuals. With data-driven lifestyles and people regularly sharing personal information freely online, there are increased implications of large fines and reputational damage for organisations, large and small, for those found in breach of the rules.

Here are the top five fines imposed so far:

  1. £639.4m in 2021 – fine reason unknown and ruling is being appealed.
  2. £43.2m in 2019 – for failures to make its consumer data processing statements easily accessible to its users.
  3. £32.1m in 2020 – for secretly monitoring hundreds of its employees.
  4. £24.0m in 2020 – after customers received unwanted promotional calls without having given their consent.
  5. £20.0m in 2020 – for a data breach which affected more than 400,000 customers.

These fines generally have been handed out for one of the following reasons:

  • Failure to comply with the transparency principles.
  • Lack of legal basis for data processing.
  • Not following the principles relating to the deletion of data.
  • Lack of implementation of adequate security measures.

Despite a pre-GDPR transition period taking place, allowing time to change policies and processes, there has still been plenty of confusion and many businesses are still unsure of the rules. Organisations are still coming to terms with the new data handling requirements and over 50% of the total number of fines have been issued in the last year alone.

Given the rapid adoption of digital technology and outcomes of COVID-19 to support remote working, data transfer and associated data protection will become increasingly more important, as will enforcement surrounding data protection.

One of the most straightforward ways to meet GDPR requirements and simplify the process of GDPR compliance is with smart software to manage customer data, consent forms and data security. Using technology instead of time-consuming manual or paper-based processes, where errors can easily occur, organisations have real-time insight, supporting documentation, an audit trail of evidence to demonstrate your organisation is operating within GDPR guidelines and cost savings.

So how can technology help organisations improve their response to the legislation, become GDPR compliant and reduce risk?

Data management – identifying, collecting, processing and storing personal data so organisations are uniquely positioned to enforce GDPR compliance and manage data subject requests.

Safeguarding locations of information storage – data maps and the ability to identify data from various locations are essential elements for the satisfaction of the portability requirement.

Data protection – although many organisations have implemented technical measures, such as firewalls and data loss prevention solutions to protect personal data, GDPR software solutions also encrypt personal data.

Anonymising data – by overwriting personal data and anonymising, organisations can retain useful information for tracking, trend analysis and future predictions; such as number of incidents, location, date & time, etc.

Data breach detection and notification – under the terms of the GDPR, data controllers must report any data breach within 72 hours of the incident occurring and using threat detection and response technology, provides a set of monitoring, analytics and reporting capabilities.

Gaining a single view – connecting disparate data with access to information from across multiple sites and global regions in real time with one true view helps businesses to be more productive and make better data-driven decisions.

Nicola Barker, VP of Product, Enterprise Alcumus:

“Through real-time insights and a data technology-led approach, organisations can streamline processes and drive greater control of GDPR compliance. Our market-leading capabilities and strength in integration and technology means that organisations become more connected with better insights and actions, and are able to prioritise GDPR requirements and reduce the risk of data breaches.”

Alcumus Info Exchange is fully customisable for all of our clients, helping them to easily fulfil GDPR requirements, greatly minimise the risk of any data breaches and support data controllers and processors to manage data in an efficient way. For example, system rules can be implemented to set time periods in which to review data and determine whether to keep, redact or delete. This process allows clients to delete or anonymise the data quickly and easily. The added benefit for Info Exchange clients is that they can also use all the other platform features, not just GDPR, which include multi-lingual capability (23 languages and counting), dashboard reporting, email notifications and action management providing a full risk management solution.

Our integrated software platform means that organisations can effectively manage operational risk through digitisation of processes. Recognising the strengths of Alcumus’ integrated EHS software to connect people, processes and data, digitising manual processes, independent research and advisory firm Verdantix placed Alcumus as a Leader in its independent review of the most prominent global EHS software vendors in the 2021 EHS Software Green Quadrant.

Next steps

Book a demo of Alcumus Info Exchange so we can help you simplify GDPR compliance.  Digitally connect your business – one platform, endless solutions. For further information on what the GDPR regulations mean for employers, read this article.