- Evaluate “DPO as a service”: GDPR requires an organisation to appoint a person in the position of Data Protection Officer - DPO. But, it gives flexibility to have the DPO position as a full time, part-time, shared or a contract resource. In order to reduce cost whilst maintaining compliance, SMEs must explore the option of appointing a shared DPO.
The DPO credential requirements are quite unique and “DPO as a service” provides SMEs the most efficient and practical support on compliance. The business should evaluate the DPO’s personal competence, intellectual property and support team available to address the variety of challenges that GDPR compliance is expected to present.
- Move to a managed service model with suppliers and insist on their GDPR readiness: Outsourcing or specialised sourcing is a great way of implementing efficiency and business compliance. Due to shared cost overheads, the impact of particular compliance drops significantly. In line with this strategy, organisations should move to a managed service model for the parts of their business operations which fit their outsourcing strategy. During the implementation of a managed service strategy as a business or efficiency initiative, specialised focus should be given on compliance. This should reflect in the contractual terms that are entered as well as the governance framework for performance management.
The Data controller will continue to remain accountable, sourcing a specialised and compliant data processor may just relieve management of large recurring compliance investments.
- Market your GDPR compliance as a competitive strength: SMEs need to market the GDPR compliance of their product and business to derive competitive leverage. Large businesses have much higher at stake in terms of penalties and brand loss but they also have compliance budgets and programs for internal systems and processes. These compliance programs include ensuring current and prospective suppliers are GDPR compliant.
Being ahead in the race for compliance and marketing it as a strength would avoid elimination on compliance grounds and lend a power advantage during techno-commercial negotiations.
- Implement cyber security hygiene practices: The key concern of regulatory (ICO) wrath will originate from two sources - A serious complaint from a data subject on systemic non-compliance or security incidents of personal data leakage impacting individual privacy. It’s therefore important to note that more than 70% of security incidents result from weak implementation of security basics, e.g. “admin-admin” username-password combinations, out dated unpatched systems, common password sharing, firewall any-any configurations, more than need/role based access, insider collusion, etc.
Implementation of good security basics (refer to Cyber Essentials ©) which includes managerial and technical controls gives moderately strong data protection assurance to business management and will shield against higher penalties.
- Take insurance cover: If the business is focussed on personal data, it is critically important that the organisation has cyber insurance cover.
This cost will provide the necessary oxygen in case of multiple controls failure. With a constant rise in cyber incidents and a higher participation of insider agents (employees, ex-employees, suppliers staff), data leakages by error can lead to fines, loss of goodwill, disruption of operations and significant erosion of customer confidence and revenue. There could be additional liabilities emerging from suits that may be filed by customers, investors or partners.