Most of the media coverage of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been focused on the ridiculous multimillion-dollar fines businesses can face if they fail to protect customers’ data. Vendors and suppliers play up the same card to boost sales for their products and services. Of course, the price of noncompliance with the GDPR is not something one can afford to shrug off.
However, the problem with concentrating on the punitive side of the GDPR is neglecting new business opportunities. The real driver for adopting new compliance principles should be to make your business more efficient, secure and competitive. Let us take a look at some of the carrots that many may leave out while scaremongering about GDPR sticks.
Benefit One: Enhance Your Cybersecurity
There is no company in the world that can afford to take the risk of cybersecurity ignorance, given the costs of data breaches and business downtime caused by theft or loss of critical data. It does make sense to take data privacy seriously and the GDPR can help you establish a security-conscious workflow.
The legislation requires organizations to identify their security strategy and adopt adequate administrative and technical measures to protect EU citizens’ personal data. It is close to impossible to ensure the integrity and security of specific types of data that travel across the network and leave the rest of the IT environment out of scope. In fact, the regulation encourages you to reevaluate and improve your overall cybersecurity strategy: You will have to establish thorough control over the entire IT infrastructure, build healthier data protection workflows and streamline security monitoring. These activities will help your organization reduce the attack surface, better understand what is going on across your network and decrease the likelihood of having to pay what some organizations think of as a “cyber tax,” caused by rising attack numbers and system outbreaks.
Benefit Two: Improve Data Management
To be compliant, you should know precisely what sensitive information you hold on people. Obviously, the first thing you want to do for your GDPR compliance is to audit all the data you have. This will enable you to minimize the data you collect and hold, better organize storages and refine data management processes.
First, you will be able to detect and get rid of redundant, obsolete and trivial (ROT) files that your organization retains, though they don’t have business value. By cleaning up the data, you will slash costs on storing and processing this data and probably erase sensitive ROT data, such as former customers’ personal information. Such data poses a high and unjustified risk to your organization, so why take responsibility for something that has no value to you.