Fujitsu Ireland has called on Irish businesses to take positive action in preparing for the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into enforcement on May 25th 2018.
Organisations in non-compliance after this date will face heavy fines, however, GDPR represents an opportunity for businesses that can yield numerous benefits, technical and non-technical. These include, but are not limited to:
- A better understanding of your own business or organisation: In preparation for GDPR organisations will have to identify and locate the data they need to protect which will enable a reassessment of what data adds value to their business or organisation. This will facilitate the broader streamlining of business processes and resources, driving efficiencies and benefits across the organisation.
- Cost savings and benefits realisation: Fujitsu Ireland anticipates that organisations will invest heavily in infrastructure and resources to prepare for the GDPR. In becoming ‘GDPR ready’, those organisations will identify data and technical needs that will enable them to drive cost-effectiveness in the short, medium and the longer term by upgrading their digital infrastructure.
- Positive relationships and reputations: Organisations will need to engage with customers and employees concerning GDPR (to update privacy notices, fulfil subject access requests, obtain consent etc.), and so can leverage the opportunity to encourage interaction between internal and external audiences, building trust and a positive reputation.
- Good governance: The GDPR may require a number of changes to internal governance policies and controls. Organisations need to be confident that these are embedded throughout the organisation by performing a regime of training, awareness, testing and audits to provide assurance and verification ahead of the compliance deadline. This will ensure good process and consistency that will continue post-deadline and benefit broader areas of the business.
- Reducing risk exposure for all data: Implementing enhanced technical and security controls will reduce the risk of exposure associated with a data breach. The recent WannaCry ransomware attack, highlights that if left unattended vulnerabilities can be easily exploited; leading to denial of access and unavailability of data. Organisations, therefore need to clearly understand the threat landscape and take decisive and proactive action to defend and protect data.
- Inoculation against disaster: 100% protection against cyber-attack or a data breach is impossible however GDPR does reduce the risk. Effective GDPR preparation can ensure that in the event of a breach, organisations can react to reduce the potential impact.
David Delaney, Director of Delivery Fujitsu Ireland commented; “GDPR is less than a year away and cannot be ignored by Irish businesses. Regardless of size, if your business handles personal data, the regulations apply to you. We are therefore encouraging business owners and managers to take the necessary steps in safeguarding the future of their business, as well as taking advantage of the many benefits that the process yields.”
“Once you’re equipped to manage personal data effectively, you can do the same for all data that you care about. This might include strategic plans, customer information, financial results, intellectual property etc. The broader benefits of GDPR will become apparent once implemented, the opportunity is now to position your business to take advantage of future opportunities”.