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Friday 27 June 2014

Here’s What the New EU Data Protection Regulation Means for Your Small Business

It’s Friday afternoon. Do you know where your customers’ private information is?

A recent survey of IT decision makers found that only half of UK businesses are aware of the upcoming changes to data protection law. Worse, only 10% fully understand what they must do to comply.

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation is currently in the process of finalisation, and will probably come into effect in 2016. 

What happens if you get it wrong?

Big fines - up to 2% of your company’s global annual turnover, or more if turnover is small. You may also receive enforcement notices that oblige you to get compliant with the new regulation as fast as possible.
If your data protection strategy is non-compliant, you’ll be at greater risk of cyber-attacks and data thefts. If that happens, you’ll be in deep trouble for failing to take the correct level of care with personal or sensitive data. Equally dangerous for your organisation, your customers won’t trust you anymore. And lack of trust means lack of revenue. 

What can you do to get it right?

First of all, check that everything you do (and don’t do) with business data is compliant with the current regulations in the Data Protection Act 1998.
Second, find out more about the incoming regulation here.

Third, know the difference between personal data: pretty much any information that relates to someone’s personal life or could be used to identify the person (or to identify people they know), and sensitive data: information that many people do not want to share, such as medical or criminal history.

Fourth, consider adding these additional points to your data protection strategy:
  • Take out extra business insurance to cover operational and legal costs in case of a data breach.
  • Work with an IT security expert to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect people’s data and meeting all your legal obligations.
  • Provide data protection training for all your organisation’s employees.

Want to know more? Call us on 0208 663 4000 for a free chat about your business IT security. We provide IT services and support to small businesses in central London and the south-east.


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