As a surge in data and security breaches unfolds, flaws in multi-system software have started to appear.
Data protection is regulated throughout the UK and EU by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Focusing on individual data privacy rights, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was put into place in 2016 to represent an ongoing commitment to protecting sensitive data, providing individuals with access and control over their information, and the continuous monitoring and improvement of all parts of the data ecosystem.
However, GDPR it not a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ regulation. While many companies have applied the required data safeguards to achieve initial compliance, they haven’t necessarily understood the ongoing obligations for the data they hold.
In post-Brexit Britain, EU GDPR remains part of UK law, commonly known as the Data Protection Act 2018. This law doesn’t just apply to UK data—it applies to any UK organisation that offers goods or services to, or monitors the behaviour of, EU residents.
Article 25 of the Data Protection Act 2018 specifies that, as the controller/business owner, it is your responsibility to comply with data protection by design and by default, which means companies are required to integrate data protection concerns into every aspects of processing activities with a focus on accountability.
Data-targeted security breaches can prove catastrophic if an organisation does not have robust safeguards in place. Although cyber security isn’t a new concern, cyber criminals are becoming increasingly advanced. According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021, two in five businesses reported experiencing security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. However, not all attacks are sophisticated—they merely succeed as a result of poor cyber safeguarding or exploiting known vulnerabilities.
With so many businesses forced to shift to remote office models over the last two years, protecting data has become more complex. There are additional threats and security weaknesses to address in the hastily adapted remote working infrastructures. Any data breach that is the result of compliance failure can lead to huge fines—but the financial impact doesn’t end there. Many organisations suffer further financial losses through legal fees, operational downtime, and lost business opportunities due to damaged reputation.
We must ensure the economy as a whole is adequately protected and tightly regulated. Research has always suggested that compliance has a positive impact on business reputation. An increase in customer trust, improved customer satisfaction, and higher employee morale tend to lead to a positive impact on revenue. As the economy grows, so does the opportunity for malicious software that exploits weaknesses in IT systems.
The government wants to encourage organisations to effectively manage their own cyber security as part of their operational resilience risk management. Firm leadership must be established to implement the policies and procedures, but the appropriate technology to support such an important initiative must also be acquired.
There are a number of software packages for data compliance, but organisations should be aware of the flaws in using multi-system software tools and managing records separately across the business. If your systems do not fully integrate, errors can easily occur. The solution needs to be in the form of a robust and intuitive software system that simultaneously manages data across each of your company’s databases, performing tasks such as security checks, permission controls, deletions and anonymisations, and restricting access to confidential information. Such a solution would leave less margin for error and proves more cost effective in the long run.
The introduction of an accreditation for data privacy, similar to ISO, could help companies better manage their compliance. If encouraged to gain accreditation by proving their practices and processes, companies would gain a competitive advantage over those without. Formal reporting obligations could also be introduced. We need to leverage technology to increase cyber security by using intelligent, intuitive data management solutions that work across all systems and networks.
So, is GDPR a ticking time bomb? In short—yes, but it can be diffused. Instead of leaving your company open to cybercrime and its associated consequences, you can act quickly by appointing dedicated personnel and investing in the right safeguards.
Mundeep Nayyar is managing director of Infotel UK and creator of Deepeo—the UK’s first comprehensive automated package for data security.
The software is the UK’s first comprehensive automated package to offer tailored cloud-based services across multiple systems to protect supply chain accounts, increase security and permission controls, deletions and housekeeping, anonymisation and limit access to confidential information—a tool that Infotel’s managing director, Mundeep Nayyar, believes will be a game changer for businesses across the world.
Already a proven valuable software for customers including Virgin Money, the team developed the software to be accessible and adapted for any business.
For more information please visit https://deepeo.co.uk