General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) In A Nutshell
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the European Union’s answer to the widening problem of porous online security and compromised privacy. The regional block began enforcing GDPR on May 25, 2018, thereby forcing companies to pay a heavy penalty of €20 million or 4% of their global income, whichever amount was higher, for every instance of failed compliance. In response, firms are starting to take their cybersecurity issues more seriously by investing increased time and money into the process. The days of leaky storage, rampant infection, and phishing incidents affect client data must become a distant memory—or else.
Corporate clients and consumers worldwide will benefit from this boost in cyber defense, especially given the void of regulations currently placed on the internet. If they are smart, companies affected by GDPR rules will choose to bolster their protection across the entire global audience, not just European customers, as they seek digital compliance in the new age. In this way, a single Terms of Service can cover everyone using their business, regardless of their geographical location.
The keyword to GDPR’s implementation is privacy-by-design, a network built with privacy as the primary consideration. Though it may appear costly at first, companies will save themselves tremendous headache—and even costlier lawsuits—in the long run if they layout a digital environment with capacity for future regulations rather than retrofitting down the line. In the age of big data, the default must include aggressive implementation of corporate policies to keep data integrity intact, secure, and always available when needed. The main principles of GDPR are summarized below:
- Protection-by-design: It is costly for companies to invest in cyber defense on day 1, but exposure to threats like server hijacking, data loss, or a phishing attack is far more concerning.
- IT team alertness: The saying “an ounce-of-prevention is worth a pound-of-cure” is highly applicable to the work of IT professionals. Being proactive is not optional anymore—it is compulsory. Reactionary responses do not represent real security and can be highly damaging to business, as all cybersecurity problems will soon become visible.
- Customer/client-first policy: Companies are legally required to set aside self-preservation as the primary goal and make the privacy of the customer data the centerpiece of their day-to-day operations.
- Default-to-privacy: If a company is selling a software, web applications, or online services, the user interface and various controls provided to customers should prioritize privacy. With this responsibility comes the need to create interfaces that do not deliberately weaken the privacy and security of consumer information.
- Supplement and strengthen data privacy: Cybercriminals are not resting on their laurels; they are conducting their own research and development to counter the security and privacy protocols of their targeted companies. As a result, businesses must continue to invest in an effective review cycle of the security and privacy-preserving infrastructure.
- Top level customer transparency: Corporations do not like negative publicity, that is why a news blackout for weeks and even months on end about their episode of a data breach was being practiced prior to GDPR. Now with the hefty fine for irresponsible lack of transparency, cover-ups are highly discouraged, a win for the customers.
- No compromise: The quality of products, services, online systems, and other transactions of a company should be well maintained or improved to comply with GDPR—and not used as a way to lower the quality