Tackling a GDPR Audit: Tricky Questions and Crystal Clear Solutions
Since May, new regulations have been in place for international businesses who collect or store data on clients and customers from the European Union (EU). Since the regulations are seemingly far away, many Canadian companies put off learning about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In fact, we’re hearing from lots of companies who are now realizing the May 25th deadline has long passed and they’re not sure if they’re compliant. Is your company looking for a GDPR audit in Toronto? Read on to understand why you should be.
Have you Considered a GDPR Compliance Audit? If You Haven’t, Here’s Why You Should
Strategies for staying up-to-date and compliant with new GDPR regulations
It’s no secret that the modern workforce is driven by technology and increased virtualization. Connecting with clients and doing business is more dynamic than ever before. This is even more relevant for the international business community. Where borders and distance used to prevent international business, virtualization is making it easier than ever to do business across international lines.
However, this raises two concerns. First, there’s no denying that large masses of consumer data being stored and shared virtually across the world presents serious security concerns. Second, as different countries try to better regulate online commerce, the regulations and standards set in one part of the world will come to impact other countries as well. Such is the case with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Slow Down: What Exactly Is the GDPR and How is my Company Affected?
Simply put, the GDPR is a new set of regulatory standards that seek to protect the personal data and privacy of citizens in the EU. The GDPR was enacted in April of 2016 and came as a replacement for the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive. These regulations aim to better protect EU citizens conducting business locally and internationally. The GDPR sets wide-reaching standards that help to ensure citizen personal identification information (PIN) is protected across all business and commerce interactions
While it may seem like regulatory standards set out by the EU wouldn’t impact Canadian or US professionals – think again. As mentioned, the internet has made it possible for companies to do business across international borders. This means any international businesses who collect or store client data from the EU must remain compliant with these regulations.
Breaking Down the GDPR: Understanding the Regulations and What’s at Stake
There’s no doubt it can difficult to keep up with all the industry and governmental standards set out for businesses today. However, like with many regulatory bodies, compliance with the GDPR is critical. In fact, non-compliance can have hugely negative impacts for business professionals.
Non-compliant organizations can face huge financial fines and could be forced to implement compliance strategies if they don’t do it on their own. Considering these heavy consequences, it’s critical that professionals have – at the very least – a baseline understanding of what’s required for maintaining GDPR compliance.
Check out the top three things professionals should know about GDPR compliance:
- Expansion of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
As mentioned the GDPR has an expanded view of what constitutes personally identifiable information (PII). Under the GDPR, user’s IP addresses and cookie data are considered just as sensitive as names, addresses, and social insurance numbers. If your organization works with EU clients and collects their PIN – be sure every inch of data you collect is subject to strict protection protocols.
- Vague Wording
Like with many other regulatory documents, the GDPR leaves much to the imagination – making it difficult for professionals to know if they’re staying compliant. For example, the GDPR uses wording like “reasonable” levels of data protection without defining what “reasonable” looks like. This gives the GDPR a lot of leeway in terms of governing compliance and assessing fines. Your best bet is to adopt a ‘better too much than too little’ approach to client data security.
- Extensive Data Protection
While the expansion of PIN data above may be responsible enough, the data protected by the GDPR is much more extensive. In addition to personal details and IP data, the GDPR seeks to protect more wide-ranging personal data like health and genetic data, biometrics, race and ethnicity details, political opinions and sexual orientation. If your company solicits any of this kind of information from EU clients, it is subject to strict privacy regulation.
Diving Deeper: Should Your Organization Conduct a GDPR Audit?
The points mentioned above only skim the surface in terms of GDPR compliance. In fact, there is such a wealth of information to be aware of, the GDPR stipulates that organizations must assign a data-protection officer to be solely responsible for ensuring compliance. This can be a huge responsibility and a burden for already busy international professionals.
That’s why many organizations are reaching out to managed IT service providers for support and consultation regarding GDPR compliance. Managed service providers can offer detailed GDPR reviews and audits that help ensure all your data protection bases are covered. With a keen eye for detail and the industry experience to back it up, managed IT providers can help you go from panicked to compliant in the blink of an eye.
Here are some of the key benefits of partnering with an MSP for a GDPR audit in Toronto:
- Expertise and experience
An IT industry professional will have the data-security experience and expertise required to help you tackle such wide-reaching regulatory standards. When searching for a partner to provide a GDPR audit in Toronto, look for a partner who will know what to look for and will make your compliance effort a breeze.
- Comprehensive full-coverage
Working with a partner will take away all the guess-work from your GDPR compliance battle. If you’re looking for Toronto GDPR audit services, find a provider who is going to make sure your compliant at all endpoints. By working through the details carefully alongside an expert, your compliance effort will be consistent and comprehensive.
- Consultation partnership
The world of data protection and regulations for business professionals is likely to keep evolving over time. The great thing about seeking out a GDPR audit in Toronto from a trusted provider is that you’ll have a consultant in your corner as things change. If regulations become stricter or a new set of compliance rules is released, you’ll know exactly who to call to ensure your entire organization is compliant.
Staying Compliant: Proactive Compliance and GDPR Audits in Toronto
There’s no getting around it – the virtual workforce is expanding and the regulatory environment for data protection is constantly changing. Professionals of all kinds and in all countries, would be smart to keep themselves one-step ahead of the chaos. The only way to rest assured when it comes to compliance is to make it a deliberate priority.
Do your research. Make sure you keep a finger on the pulse of the regulatory sector so you never miss a new rule or standard. Above all, don’t hesitate to consult an expert for guidance. Find a trusted IT professional and have your systems audited for compliance. When it comes to data protection and GDPR audits in Toronto, joining forces with a professional is a surefire way to kiss your compliance woes goodbye.
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