General Data Protection Regulation: The Compliance Countdown has Begun

General Data Protection Regulation: The Compliance Countdown has Begun

Chris Russel

CTO at Swivel Secure

Views 468

General Data Protection Regulation: The Compliance Countdown has Begun

19.05.2016 10:45 am

The aim of the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to drive the modernisation of Europe’s data security practices and, at the same time, harmonise the national laws that each member state enacted as a resulted of the now-defunct Data Protection Directive.

Overall, the regulation is a force for good. Nonetheless, it will require European business of all sizes to ‘get serious’ about their security, and fast. There is a mere two-year grace period before the rules will be enforced, after which non-compliance becomes a very serious issue indeed - one that could result in fines of up to 4% of a firm’s worldwide annual turnover.

The specific technical requirements of the regulation, concerning the pseudonymisation and encryption of sensitive data have already been widely documented. Less well discussed however, is how companies need to adapt their operations and policies to establish a perpetually compliant mode of working.

One requirement, for example, requires the relevant data protection authority to be notified of a data breach within 72 hours of its occurrence. Moreover, under certain circumstances, the data subjects will also have to be notified of a breach.  Put another way, to avoid hefty fines, firms will need to ‘own-up’ far sooner than many have done in the past. This will put companies on a continuous state of high alert, elevate the data security issue to Board level almost overnight, and refocus the IT department’s attention on bolstering its network defences.

On initial inspection, this is no bad thing. But there are hidden costs to contend with. Countless firms across Europe are in the midst of migrating their company’s data, business tools and operations into the cloud in a bid to heighten operational flexibility, lower TCO, enable greater departmental integration and unify their communications infrastructures. The Bring Your Own Device revolution, combined with the rising popularity of flexible working initiatives, add yet more gateways for the IT department to protect. The rise of such initiatives has triggered a surrendering of corporate data security control; many of the ‘new network’ gateways now sit well beyond the control of the IT department. Cloud-based user authentication is most commonly delivered as part of the provider’s managed service.

In this way, it is worth considering whether the GDPR’s threat of huge fines could, inadvertently, do more harm than good, by dissuading the Board from pressing on with progressive IT initiatives and hampering each company’s agility and flexibility as a result.

One way through the maze is to apply user authentication policies and tools that are fit for this new multidimensional networked environment and appropriately support the new regulatory environment.

Adaptive risk-based authentication solutions can help establish precisely the right level of visible security as is appropriate to the access being requested.

Here, an appropriate level of ‘friction’ can be integrated into the authentication process; a high risk access request requires a higher degree of validation, for example.  Unusual access requests can then also be quickly identified, from a masked IP address, for example, or a device attempting to access from a country far removed from its usual access location.

By building this level of granularity and risk assessment into a firm’s security policies, adaptive authentication tools can then be parameterised to enable a company to achieve the best of both worlds: the new level of access and data protection that the GDPR demands and the flexibility that today’s networked business environment requires.

By taking this strategic and unified approach to authentication, firms can generate a network-wide overview detailing all accesses to corporate data. This overview makes it far easier to guard against breaches, identify them when they do occur and also to respond effectively, by adding new layers of authentication, for example, or even restricting access under appropriate circumstances. By establishing this level of visibility and auditable transparency, companies will also find that they are better equipped for the greater scrutiny brought about by the new regulatory environment.

As is so often the case with information security, it’s about striking a balance. Fortunately, the tools and best practices are already available for European firms to quickly adapt to the new regulation and continue to evolve their operations at the same time. Those with the vision and agility to begin their adaptation now will be able to turn a regulatory compliance countdown into an opportunity to future proof their organisations network defences for years to come. 

Latest blogs

TYRON JONES n/a

How Technology Has Disrupted the Used Car Buying Experience

We’ve seen many fields change rapidly as a result of the integration of modern technological advancements over the last couple of decades. And it looks like more is coming on the horizon as well, judging by current trends. One of the markets that Read more »

Shuvo G. Roy Mphasis

Reboot 1.0: How financial services technology can enable the supply chain to support a post-lockdown boom

Ground control and Captain Tom When veteran Captain Tom Moore decided to walk one hundred laps of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise funds to support NHS heroes battling Covid-19 from the frontline, he never imagined that he would Read more »

Lisa Gutu Salt Edge

Building a PSD2 compliant channel: challenges and opportunities for financial institutions

PSD2 obliges ASPSPs including banks, e-wallets, prepaid cards and other companies that offer payment accounts to provide at least one channel for secure communication with third party providers (TPP). Even neobanks or e-money institutions, including Read more »

Thomas Pintelon Capilever

Credit origination - A lot of innovation on the horizon

While consumer credits are becoming more automated and user-friendly to request, all other credits are often still very manual and labor intensive to originate. In this (relatively long) blog I will try to give a description of the (potentially Read more »

Kelly Kearsley Hourly.io

Time Card Theft is a Big Problem. Here's How to Stop It.

Trust is at the core of every employer-employee relationship. You trust your people to do their jobs, and they trust you to compensate them for their work. Most of the time, it works. However, there's always the person looking to bend the rules or Read more »

Related Blogs

Stephan Wolf Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF)

GLEIF 2019 Annual Report Showcases Early Compliance with European Single Electronic Format and Demonstrates Benefits of LEI Inclusion

GLEIF showcases how the LEIs should be included within digital, machine-readable financial documentation on the basis of ESMA’s ESEF mandate, to enhance trust and ease data aggregation, and demonstrates how simple it is to incorporate the LEI into Read more »

Shiran Weitzman Shield

Tackling Apparent Contradictions of Compliance versus Privacy

As technology evolves and becomes more complicated, so too do the moral and ethical dilemmas, along with the associated regulations. However, well-intentioned regulations designed to protect people and businesses alike can sometimes seemingly Read more »

Gemma Doswell Paybase

Paybase Predicts...

What we said in 2018 Read more »

Dr Bimal Roy Bhanu Ai XPRT

Are you keeping up with the Regulator?

Not many things in life are certain, but in the financial services industry it’s obvious to all participants that regulators are continually tightening the national and international governance, risk and compliance requirements. The ultimate aim for Read more »

Gemma Doswell Paybase

Retaining Buyers and Sellers Is Easy, Right?

So, you’ve launched your own online marketplace, gig economy or sharing economy platform. What’s next? You need to attract users and, more importantly, retain them. But it’s actually one of the biggest challenges for a platform business to overcome Read more »

Magazine
ALL
Free Newsletter Sign-up
+44 (0) 208 819 32 53 +44 (0) 173 261 71 47
Download Our Mobile App
Financial It Youtube channel