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3 Steps to Achieve GDPR Compliance

3 Steps to Achieve GDPR Compliance

How Can Your Organization Achieve GDPR Compliance?

Consumer privacy continues to become a mounting concern for organizations and the focus on privacy has increased. Implementing the appropriate processes and understanding the privacy environment can improve your organization’s ability to manage consumer privacy and build consumer trust. Our assessors walk your organizations through the three steps needed to achieve GDPR compliance.

Steps to Achieving GDPR Compliance

For organizations that are within the scope of the GDPR, the following steps can help your organization achieve compliance. These steps can be completed through a gap assessment performed internally or through a third-party assessor, like A-LIGN.

Step 1: Evaluate overall readiness

Can your organization meet the key requirements? To prepare for GDPR, your organization should:

  • Create or update its information security and privacy policy and procedures
  • Have availability to quickly respond to data subject access requests
  • Regularly audit privacy management program to ensure continued compliance
  • Train personnel on privacy requirements and obligations
  • Maintain a record of all processing activities under its responsibility
  • Review its vendor management program to ensure adequate protections are in place with third-party vendors and sub-processors to protect personal data under the GDPR

Additionally, when assessing overall readiness, your organization should consider the processing activities, non-sensitive personal data, and “special categories” of personal data that your organization may handle, collect or process.

Learn more in this White Paper: Securing Privacy: Understanding the Impact of GDPR

Step 2: Gap Identification

Gap identification should assess the current privacy posture of your organization and its compliance with the 99 articles of the GDPR.  Your organization should determine its responsibility as a data controller, data processor, or joint-controller. This will be the primary variable in determining your organization’s obligations under the GDPR.

Step 3: Gap Mitigation & Remediation

Once your organization determines its compliance gaps, it should implement appropriate protections to mitigate all identified gaps. Having an independent third-party review your organization’s policies and procedures can help ensure that your organization is able to meet its obligation for GDPR compliance.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Non-compliance can result in:

  • A warning in writing in the cases of first and non-intentional noncompliance
  • EU Commission-directed data protection audits
  • Restricting access to data, including definitive and permanent bans
  • Loss of the organizations ability to operate in the EEA and EU Member States
  • A fine of up to €20,000,000 or up to 4% of the annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year in case of an enterprise, which is greater
  • Damaged reputation

What is a GDPR Gap Assessment?

For organizations who do not understand how GDPR may apply to their environment, or who are unsure of their ability to meet the GDPR requirements, a gap assessment can be valuable. A gap assessment offers a solution to organizations by ensuring that a comprehensive analysis has been completed, allowing your business to adopt risk-measured responses for any gaps identified.

Why Conduct a GDPR Gap Assessment?

Conducting a GDPR gap assessment can provide the following benefits:

  1. Enhanced Security and Privacy Posture: Ensure that your organization can secure and protect the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of the information that it handles, as well as the privacy and proper use of data subjects’ data.
  2. Improved Reputation: Provide current and potential customers confidence that your organization is doing everything to protect the privacy their information.
  3. Validation of Compliance: Limit your organization’s exposure to the GDPR enforcement penalties due to non-compliance. Compliance with the GDPR ensures that your organization can continue operating in the EEA and the EU Member States.

Achieve GDPR Compliance

Is your organization ready to take the first step towards GDPR services? A-LIGN’s assessors are available to assist your organization in understanding the impact of GDPR on your organization, as well as any gaps that your organization may have that affect GDPR compliance.