Significant changes to EU data protection laws are on the not-too-distant horizon. And organisations across Europe are finding there’s a lot to be done to meet their obligations. Instead of trudging along a protracted route to compliance, smart businesses are taking a proven shortcut using the technology built into their IT software.
In this article we reveal how taking full advantage of Microsoft’s data protection management solutions helps you comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and improve your productivity to boot.
What is the GDPR?
The GDPR places a renewed focus on protecting private EU citizens’ data. Adhering to this regulation is very important. While we all have personal data that deserves protection, it’s the hefty financial sanctions of up to $20m that could spell financial disaster for your business.
As part of the changes, individuals are being given more control over their data and can request that you correct, destroy or provide them with a record of all the data you hold on them. Transparency is also a major aim of the new regulations as businesses must be able to demonstrate why, how and how long they store and handle data and who has access to it.
This means you need to be able to:
● Identify the personal data you hold and where it resides.
● Manage how personal data is used and accessed with good governance and practice.
● Establish security controls to prevent, detect and respond to vulnerabilities and data breaches.
● Provide reports for data requests, deliver data breach reports and keep required documentation.
When this concerns data held in databases this seems fairly straightforward. However, the GDPR applies to personal data whoever accesses it and wherever it’s held, even when it’s out of your control.
Which Data Does the GDPR Cover?
Data is held in many different locations. In documents, databases, spreadsheets and emails whether they’re kept on a hard drive, server or in the cloud.
Add in to the mix the possibility of a cyber attack, when personal data could be downloaded from your systems and distributed, and the path to data protection feels long and difficult.
Manually taking the steps to compliance is time-consuming and distracts your team from their day jobs. And that’s just the beginning. Ongoing data protection is equally as important and resource-heavy as preparing for GDPR. Not only will your team be required to undertake data protection analysis but any data requests or breach reports will need to be prepared and processed too.
While this activity helps to protect your business, it means less time spent on profitable work and fails to enhance your bottom line.
Instead, invest in the right cyber security technology and you’ll open up a proven shortcut to GDPR compliance that pays dividends upfront and beyond.
Identify, Manage and Protect Your Data With Enterprise Mobility and Security
Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) is a key piece of software from Microsoft that helps you discover, control, and safeguard the personal data held by your organisation. Not only that, it also reveals potential blind spots and detects when data breaches occur saving your team the time and trouble of conducting their own investigations.
In this section, we explore the five key features of this tech and the benefits it can deliver for your business.
Good Data Protection Starts with a Locked Front Door
Preventing hackers from getting into your systems makes it more difficult for them to get at your data. EMS provides you with the authority to say who has access to your systems, data and documents, wherever they’re stored.
Additional cyber security doesn’t mean erecting more barriers and reducing employee efficiency. You can enable single sign-on access (with or without additional authentication) which gives you complete control over who can access your data.
Single sign-on also helps employees start work faster because they only need to remember one password to access multiple systems, apps and drives.
An added bonus is that the in-built software scans for, identifies and alerts you to suspicious activity (like hacking) so you can take immediate action and re-establish secure boundaries.
Protect Your Data Wherever It’s Held
Different data requires different levels of privacy. EMS helps you classify your data and label it whether you’re creating a file or an email. This means you can take the appropriate action to protect it, be that encryption or managing access rights.
Because your data is classified, this approach also makes it easy to report on the information you hold and provides a clear and well-thought-out approach to protection. Which is indispensable should you need to report a breach and justify your tactics.
If the worst happens, EMS also provides detailed tracking and reporting so you can keep a watchful eye and gain more control over your data. This is invaluable for those firms wishing to take a more proactive approach by auditing your tactics to ensure your systems are operating as intended.
Tighter controls don’t need to come at the cost of restricting collaboration or limiting information sharing. Put your data in the cloud, transfer it to a registered device, share a document with someone outside of your organisation. Whatever you do, you’ll have visibility and peace of mind that you can identify issues and take action as required throughout the full life cycle of your data.
Retain Productivity with Managed Devices
With more people using a wider range of devices to access information, security perimeters are being stretched. When you need your team to instantly access a spreadsheet on their mobile phone in Japan, you don’t want to prevent this due to security fears.
EMS means you don’t have to. Its cloud technology removes the need for data to be downloaded and stored locally on the device itself. With advanced cybersecurity protections built into the cloud, your team can operate in full flow.
And, because many of the security measures operate in the background of the system, there’s no difference for employees – they interact with apps and software that look and feel the same. You can even replicate employees’ computer desktops across devices to provide a seamless transition with the same best-in-class security features.
With moving goalposts and the potential for massive fines, GDPR is at the top of business’ agendas. How you decide to approach compliance will have ramifications for the productivity and security of your business both today and in the future.
Take advantage of the digital revolution by acquiring the right technical solutions for your business. Not only will you take a shortcut to GDPR compliance but, but your people will be more productive too.