How GDPR will affect small businesses

Remote workers in a cafe with laptops

With less than a year to prepare for the EU GDPR mandate, it’s time businesses got into shape, something that is proving difficult for smaller organisations.

The aim of the regulation is to give citizen’s more control over what can be done by businesses with their personal data. Failure to meet this compliance can result in fines of up to €20m or 4% of a company’s turnover.

Big regulations aren’t just for big businesses

The regulation must be observed by any organisation with more than 250 employees. This may seem that smaller businesses are exempt. However, a business must still comply if it’s involved in regular ‘processing’ of certain categories of personal data.

In a perfect world, all data and applications would be securely stored and processes would be in place to ensure personal data is kept separately under a security framework.

What do small businesses need to do?

Despite the size difference, SMEs are expected to handle their data flows and data processes to the same extent as large organisations. Business owners need to consider the risks that their business practices pose to the privacy of their data subjects.

33% of SMEs considered it their IT department’s sole responsibility to handle security threats and only one-quarter had a dedicated security executive at board level. This is putting huge pressure on in-house IT departments. GDPR will mean that every piece of an organisation’s data will need to be identified, regardless of where it is stored.

Technology is key

With more strategies for working, it’s becoming harder for organisations to keep tabs on where data is 24 hours a day. Technology can aid smaller businesses on their journey to compliance. Solutions are available to host and manage the data that is stored within the four walls of the office and beyond.

By outsourcing complex storage and hosting requirements to the experts, smaller businesses are freed from the worry of managing and reviewing where hundreds of pieces of data sit.

A Managed Service Provider can provide full management of data whilst monitoring access and third-party threats to the organisation. They will act as the data controller, ensuring that all information and applications are reviewed accordingly to meet compliance.

Where do businesses start?

Preparation is vital when aiming for GDPR compliance. It’s not enough to continue doing what you’re doing with no consideration to what needs to be improved. Don’t stick your head in the sand. Get started today and get in touch to discuss our GDPR compliant cloud software and solutions.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog series on how cloud technology can aid businesses with their journey to meet compliance.

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