It’s no surprise that as the stakes associated with a potential breach rise, legislators respond by proposing new privacy and data security laws. However, in replacing an incredibly outdated data security regulation (EU Directive 95/46/EC), the EU has now adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which sets a new benchmark in data security requirements with far reaching impacts and high penalties. So, it’s time for us all to get familiar with the GDPR because it applies to any organization that collects “personal data” from any natural EU citizen, regardless of where a business is located.
Yes, despite being created in the EU, GDPR means that even a five-person company based in Belize with an online storefront that sells to Europeans will be required to comply (or make sure their payment processor complies). Also, “personal data” in the GDPR has a much broader definition than what we’ve settled on as PII, or Personally Identifiable Information, in other regulations. An IP address, for example, is considered personal in the GDPR, even though DHCP and dynamic addresses are used.
To ensure rapid adoption of GDPR, huge potential fines for non-compliance are included and enforcement agencies have been established. The Regulation allows for fines up to 4% of worldwide revenue, or €20 million, whichever is higher.
While the potential fines are high enough to push companies to adhere to GDPR, some are struggling to make the sweeping changes needed before the Regulation takes effect on May 25, 2018. That’s because the scope of the GDPR is large, and the collection of policy, process and technology changes are difficult and time-consuming to implement. For example, it mandates:
- Breach notifications within 72 hours (unless breached data was encrypted)
- New more-explicit notification practices
- The ability to display a report of all personal data stored per subject, and then delete at their request
- That personal data remain in the EU, unless transfer out of the region is authorized
- A Data Protection Officer to be appointed and Data Protection Impact Assessment completed, where required
- Data security technology is implemented to ensure situational awareness of risks, and enable preventative, corrective and mitigating action in near real time, as well as provide tools for assessing the effectiveness of security policies
In short, if you are not already working towards compliance, then you are behind the curve and need to quickly ramp up. WatchGuard provides key information in a GDPR Resource Kit to help you get started. Visit www.watchguard.com/GDPR to download it today!