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The Reputational and Financial Risk of GDPR

Stuart Thompson | 1 August 2017

Failure crisis concept and lost business career education opportunity. Lonely young man on a rock cliff island surrounded by an ocean storm waves .jpegWith less than a year to go until GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is implemented, organisations within the EU have to get their data governance in order if they want to stay compliant. Many business owners are still unaware of the incoming GDPR, and are therefore at risk of paying exorbitant fines. If businesses don’t take action and comply with the new legislation, they’ll be putting their reputation at risk.

What businesses can learn from Game of Thrones is that putting yourself at risk doesn’t always end very well (#RedWedding). While the consequences won’t be as drastic as in the show, you can’t afford to take unnecessary risks in such a competitive environment. In an ever-changing business environment, businesses who don’t keep up or do things effectively are doomed to failure. Like we learned from Robb Stark, one little mistake can unravel and defeat you. Here are three questions you can ask to address and mitigate the risk of compliance:

How can I reduce risks and protect my company’s data?  

Do you have complete and effective data governance in place? To ensure compliance, there are a few steps you have to take to get your data in order. Firstly, define personal data find out where it comes from, what it’s used for, and who you share it with. You also need to manage data streams and processes and assign a data protection officer. A data protection officer will  make sure your business abides by the regulations, and help monitor incoming data streams. Also remember that customers can now withdraw their consent at any time, so you should be able to respond to their request in an efficient manner.

How can I protect personal data?

GDPR regulations apply to all data that can identify an individual. Things like Cookie IDs and IP addresses are categorised as personal data. Businesses can use pseudonymisation to protect customer data. This works by categorising personal data into two types, making it impossible to identify individuals unless accompanied by the second type of information. You could also minimise the amount of data you use, and only keep what’s necessary.  

What infrastructure do I need to ensure optimal governance of client data?

You’ll need to implement a solid infrastructure to obtain, store, and process data. You can start by aligning your data and analytics strategy and making sure it’s controlled, portable, and compliant. Only collect and process data that serves a specific purpose. You can also manage data lineage by outsourcing an IT company to help you streamline your data handling processes and give you better visibility throughout the data lifecycle.

If you don’t prepare for GDPR, you’re putting your business’s reputation and finances at risk. GCL has over 25 years of experience in B2B marketing and can help you manage your data to make sure it’s compliant.

If you want to know more about GDPR and how effectively managing data can keep your business compliant, download our guide:

GDPR is coming