5 steps to GDPR compliance

The GDPR compliance deadline for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, was on 25th May of 2018.

As the regulation rapidly takes effect, numerous changes can be anticipated, particularly those involving how companies respond to security breaches and manage their personal information.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enacted back in 2016 and affected firms both in and out of the European Union. The regulation requires them to not only execute new, but also enhanced data security strategies to achieve GDPR compliance otherwise risk fines.

GDPR compliance

The first vital step for all firms ought to be checking whether they need to be GDPR compliant. In fact, article 3 of this regulation provides an overview of all the rules that governed any firm involved in supervising and controlling personal information of individuals residing within the European Union, irrespective of where processing is carried out or the organization’s location. Here are some questions to help you in ascertaining whether GDPR compliance affects your firm:

  • Is your organization founded in the European Union?
  • Is your organization currently based in the European Union?
  • Do you supervise the behaviour of individuals in the European Union?
  • Do you supply commodities (services or products) to individuals residing in the EU?

In case your response to one or all the questions above is yes, then GDPR compliance is compulsory for your firm. Nonetheless, outlining a detailed plan that assesses all stakeholders drawn from the firm’s functional areas is important before commencing the GDPR compliance process. To guide you through the compliance journey, consider the following steps below:

Step 1: Data protection officer and come up with a GDPR function group or team

Select and give a mandate to a person who will oversee budget and resources, as well as information security and privacy. Also, identify various stakeholders who will recognize and evaluate the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) controls, control security breaches, administer training, maintain GDPR compliance, and fix control deficiencies.

Step 2: Create governance, compliance and risk authority

Select, organize and tag each type and source of individual information. Then, spot and record assets and software that aid in the processing, conveying, and storing of personal information. To determine a preference, identifying and recording your organization’s information processing operations is necessary.

Identifying, recording, and analyzing third-party processors that have been implemented as of May 2018 will allow you to determine any processes and adjustments that need amendments in a bid to comply with GDPR. Evaluate third parties regularly and protect engagement documents through contracts that comply with all GDPR conditions. What’s more, evaluate, make amendments, remove, or create new privacy policies, privacy notices, and consents in a bid to account for the requirements of GDPR.

To effectively comply with GDPR regulations, it is strongly advised to seek a professional GDPR consultant so nothing falls through the cracks. 

Occasionally, ensure that you spot and record data sources and execute constant Data Protection Impact Assessments designed for information processing tasks, which are highly susceptible to a given data subject. What’s more, implement the necessary organizational and technical measures that ascertain that your data security is in line with your processing methods. Also, ensure that you leverage special software for creating, monitoring, and controlling your GDPR compliance program. Audit and monitor the program occasionally to ensure conformance, and make sure that you amend appropriately to account for various changes in assessment, feedback, regulations, and operations results. Consider using a GDPR EU representative service to help ensure compliance.

Step 3: Privacy consent and notices

Evaluate all privacy notices to determine GDPR-conformance delivery, timing, and content before amending as required. Go a step further to assess how you obtain, document, and control consent. What’s more, update consent and privacy notices as stipulated while maintaining simple, clear, timely, and transparent consents that can be easily accessed and provided as proof of compliance.

Step 4: Create a breach data procedure

A firm must determine whether its approaches for handling data breaches portray a process that spots breaches in a timely manner. It should also alert, investigate, and help in managing them appropriately. These approaches should be involved in evaluating and amending data breach procedures to not only ensure that protocols can address notification prerequisites, but also the timing for the EU Supervisory Authorities and individuals.

Step 5: Carry out awareness training

Conduct training to make sure that your third-party providers and employees have a complete awareness of GDPR internal controls and organizational amendments, particularly those that influence information privacy and security. Moreover, ensure that you deliver GDPR training and notices to provide information and strengthen awareness.

Make sure that you always remember that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) acts as an all-inclusive regulation that may entail carrying out some changes to your organization in the upcoming months. Additionally, bear in mind that adhering to a few brief steps will allow you to maintain your compliance and avoid massive fines.

Ken Lynch is CEO & co-founder of