The 25th of May marks the first year anniversary of the disruptive EU-wide law which overhauled how businesses process and handle data. As the world’s strongest data protection rule, GDPR inflicts fines of up to €20m to businesses who fail to comply.
In the past year, businesses in the EU have been fined €56m in total, however this has merely been labelled a ‘transition year’ by France’s national regulator SNIL, whilst countries focus on finalising their rules and approaches.
GDPR’s immediate effect resounded strongly in the UK, with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recording 1,792 data breaches in the first month, nearly eight times the average of the previous year. It is essential that businesses do not lose momentum, as the ICO warns GDPR is an ‘evolution, not a revolution,’ echoing business transformation specialists Signavio’s caution that a sustainable, long-term approach to compliance must be taken.
Dr. Gero Decker, CEO and co-founder of Signavio, comments: “A year on, businesses now understand what is expected of them, however the main challenge is the on-going compliance. Companies are not taking a sustainable approach to GDPR. Each and every employee throughout the business must adopt a rigorous mentality to protocol adherence, taking personal responsibility and collaborating intuitively to keep data up-to-date. It is vital to remember that those on the ground will determine a company’s successful compliance.”
“Some companies are doing the bare minimum in order to tick regulatory boxes, however this will not prove fruitful in the long-term. In order to reap the most rewards, businesses must change the way they are using data across the board to provide maximum value both internally and externally.”
Dr. Gero Decker continues: “Having the correct documentation to prove compliance is just as important as fulfilling the GDPR mandate, therefore maintaining full visibility on how data is being captured, processed and analysed is essential. Without adequate internal governance, businesses are opening themselves up to high penalties that can be easily avoided.”