GDPR compliance

The GDPR is a groundbreaking piece of legislation crucial to protecting and protecting personal data. Comprehensive and complex, GDPR can also be quite costly.   

Failure to comply with its regulatory standards has already resulted in significant fines, sometimes reaching millions. The law applies to all covered entities regardless of their location. As such, even organizations based outside the EU have been fined for violations, including Meta Platforms (Facebook, US$1.3 billion), Spotify (US$5.4 million), Google (US$98.7 million), Amazon (US$815.6 million), and TikTok (US$15.8 million).  

With many organizations still breaching GDPR several years after its effect in 2018, how should your company navigate the law’s complex regulatory environment? 

Short answer: only with trusted compliance experts. To ensure that your systems and processes meet GDPR standards, you need experienced auditors who can conduct thorough risk assessments, identify your company’s regulatory gaps, validate whether your solutions meet GDPR requirements, and build cost-effective remediation programs.  

GDPR Fundamentals

Understanding the landscape is critical.  

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a unifying piece of privacy legislation that protects the personal data of citizens and residents of the European Union (EU). The law achieves this by setting strict requirements for organizations that process such data, strengthening regulatory enforcement, and giving individuals more control over their data.   

Under the GDPR, organizations are mandated to:   

  1. Obtain consent from EU citizens and residents before processing their data.  
  1. Provide individuals with access to their data.  
  1. Report data breaches to authorities.  
  1. Correct or remove inaccurate or incomplete personal data.  
  1. Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to manage GDPR compliance. 

GDPR has far-reaching implications for covered businesses of all sizes. Failure to comply is penalized with significant fines.   

There are two tiers of GDPR fines. Less severe violations have a maximum fine of €10 million (US$10.93 million), or 2% of the company’s global revenue, whichever is higher. More severe infringements have a maximum fine of €20 million (US$21.87 million), or 4% of the firm’s global revenue, whichever amount is higher.  

How to navigate GDPR

Any serious piece of regulation requires a thorough compliance audit. A GDPR audit can help your company identify areas where it is not compliant and take corrective steps to close all regulatory gaps. 

With many years of experience successfully guiding clients across multiple regulatory frameworks, TrustNet developed an airtight but streamlined approach to GDPR compliance. Here are the main stages of that approach:    

  1. Planning (project planning and management)  
  1. Scoping (risk assessment, identification of relevant controls, information gathering)  
  1. Testing (analysis, testing, remediation roadmap)  
  1. Reporting (findings and recommendations, final report)  

Some of the most crucial steps in your compliance journey include:  

  • Risk Assessment. This step will help you identify the data processing activities that pose risks to your company and its customers. 
  • Controls Identification. Different controls can be used to mitigate the risks you have previously identified. These controls include data encryption, access control, multifactor authentication, data minimization, and security information and event management (SIEM). 
  • Solutions Validation/Testing. Implemented controls need to be validated. That can be accomplished through various methods, such as vulnerability scanning and penetration testing.  
  • Remediation. Ineffective controls should be corrected as soon as they are identified. Updating policies and procedures may be needed, introducing new controls or providing staff training to ensure compliance. 

Practical tips  

The GDPR unifies data privacy laws across the European Union to empower citizens and transform how organizations approach personal data. While the legislative aims are noble and worthwhile, GDPR compliance can be time-consuming and expensive.   

Here are some ways that can help accelerate the process, reduce costs, and achieve excellent business outcomes:    

  1. Involve top management and all relevant stakeholders. GDPR is a preeminent regulation that requires the focused attention and oversight of your organization’s top leadership, legal, finance, IT, and other units. 
  2. Start with a risk assessment. That will help you identify regulatory gaps and prioritize your compliance efforts.  
  3. Partner with a trusted GDPR compliance advisor. Hiring an experienced third-party consultant will provide your team with guidance and expertise to detect regulatory risks you might have missed and build a practical remediation roadmap toward full compliance.   
  4. Leverage technology. Many tools, platforms, and services can help you streamline and automate GDPR compliance workflows. Some of these solutions can also help you monitor access rights and track privacy and other compliance risks.   

Benefits of GDPR Compliance

Complying with GDPR year after year is challenging. But the results more than justify all the resources and efforts you invest towards sustained compliance. The processes and solutions required to meet GDPR standards can help generate the following benefits for your organization:  

  • Increased trust and customer loyalty  
  • Reduced risk of data breaches  
  • Competitive advantage  
  • Improved data management  
  • Enhanced operational efficiency  
  • Accelerated compliance with other regulations  
  • Increased transparency and accountability  

Why TrustNet?  

The GDPR is a complex regulation that imposes the world’s heaviest penalties on data privacy violations. As has occurred, half-hearted efforts towards meeting its standards can lead to devastating outcomes, both for organizations and their customers. 

To ensure compliance, you need an experienced specialist to guide you. TrustNet’s expert auditors can help you conduct thorough risk assessments, validate existing solutions and controls, remediate regulatory gaps, and maintain ongoing compliance. 

We serve clients of all sizes across multiple industries and regulatory frameworks. Our professional services and technologies are known for cost efficiency, deep experience, and excellent quality. We can assist in all phases of GDPR through the following services:  

  • Gap Assessments  
  • Implementation Consulting  
  • Periodic Compliance Assessments  
  • Data Protection Officers  

Ready to hurdle GDPR? Have a chat with a TrustNet expert for a free consultation.