There is no doubt that the GDPR is dominating the data discussion right now. The EU regulation comes into force on 25th May and will put new obligations on businesses to better handle the data of individuals and make it more accessible to users. However, outside of the GDPR, what expectations exist when it comes to the average IT infrastructure and how do you ensure that your business is meeting these expectations?
Positive data management
Customer expectations surrounding data management have been heightened by the conversations that have arisen around the GDPR. Now, there is significantly more focus on the way that businesses handle data and an expectation that proactive steps will be taken to ensure positive management of any information that customers or clients hand over. Legal compliance requires that data is properly stored and secured, held only for a limited period of time and then safely disposed of. However, this will also help to ensure that your business is able to meet the expectations that customers have around how data should be managed.
Compliance with regulation such as the GDPR could take you down the route of using virtualisation as a better way to ensure data security, for example, and implementing a CRM that can track the dates on which users gave consent. This compliance infrastructure can also be developed to meet key expectations around business continuity and has a range of other benefits. The use of virtualisation, for example, will ensure that you always have a data back up in place, providing the foundations of reliable business continuity even when events or incidents occur to disrupt this.
Choosing the right IT provider
The GDPR places more responsibility on businesses to be responsible for data. The knock on effect of this is that expectations are much higher when it comes to how brands design IT infrastructure – including the IT providers they choose. Your customers not only expect your own business to be on top of compliance requirements but for this to also be factored into the decisions that you make about the partners that you work with. Looking for an IT provider that meets requirements, such as FCS, PRA, SANS, Cyber Essentials and SEC standards will help to ensure that data protection compliance is a priority for all those you partner with. And the ultimate result will be that all that data handled is better protected and expectations are met.
Improving internal understanding
True data protection compliance requires everyone in the business to be on board. All staff should understand how IT infrastructure contributes to data protection and also what is required of each person within the organisation to work in a safe and compliant way. It’s also crucial that there is a good understanding of what data the business works with, why it is processed, how it makes its way through the IT infrastructure and where the vulnerabilities lie. This is not just legal compliance but also the only way to ensure safe and efficient data management that meets legal and customer expectations.