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How to Adhere to GDPR - Top 5 Best Practices

Since May 2018 businesses within the EU (or that do business within the EU) have had to comply with GDPR regulations. Even in a post-Brexit business landscape, GDPR has a significant impact on your business’ data and what it can and cannot do with it. Even if you don’t do business within the EU, the UK has its own version of GDPR, and the best practices remain the same for both sets of regulations.

GDPR can be difficult for new business owners to wrap their heads around – how to perceive how the legislation applies to you and your customers? Which is why we’ve compiled a list of top 5 GDPR best practices. So you can go about your business with peace of mind, knowing that compliance is woven into the fabric of your operations. 

What is GDPR?

GDPR means the General Data Protection Regulation. It is a set of legislative rules concerning data protection, privacy and the transfer of personal information. While it may look opaque on paper, the good news is GDPR laws are easy to implement in your business activities. 

Let’s take a look at 5 best practices that will make compliance easy.

Get to know data protection definitions

Your business probably handles many different kinds of data, so it’s important to have a good understanding of key data protections and definitions. You need to understand the difference between personal data and sensitive personal data, and between a data controller and a data processor. Moreover, you need to ensure that your staff understand these definitions too. Which brings us to…

Implement robust staff training

GDPR training (ideally from a trusted outsourced provider) is essential to gain a working understanding of how to make your daily operations compliant. But to be truly effective, GDPR training can’t just be a “one and done” exercise. It needs to be refreshed regularly as well as incorporated into your onboarding process, so you know that there are no weak links in your company’s chain.

Identify high-risk activities within your operation

GDPR compliance requires companies to adopt a risk-based approach to data management. This means carrying out a thorough privacy impact assessment and identifying the risk factors inherent in everything your business does. If you outsource any key functions within your business, you also need to ensure that your vendors can demonstrate that they are GDPR-compliant.

Keep updating your security infrastructure

GDPR compliance is an important part of IT governance, with huge implications for your security infrastructure. Best practice means not only being vigilant in how your company handles personal data, but how it safeguards that data against security threats. 

As such, your business needs to keep updating and enhancing its security provision. Using a GDPR-compliant, cloud-based host platform is an easy and cost-effective way to do this.

Know what to do in the event of a data breach

Finally, as important as it is to guard against a data breach, part of GDPR compliance also means knowing what to do when a breach occurs. Again, your data breach response is only as strong as the weakest link in your chain. So every member of your team needs to know how to react if a breach is discovered. 

If you want to evaluate your company’s readiness to react to a data breach, ask yourself:

  • Do your employees know how to identify a data breach?

  • Do they know how to report a data breach, what forms to use and where to find them

  • Do your team know who they need to inform when a breach occurs?

  • Whose responsibility is it to communicate with users / customers when a data breach occurs?

We can help

If you’re interested in finding out more about GDPR, data privacy, or any other aspect of your business finances then get in touch with our financial experts. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

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