How the cloud makes GDPR compliance easier
GDPR: the current state of affairs
Do you have 25th May marked on your calendar? The clock is ticking for GDPR compliance and organisations across the European Union are currently scrambling towards the finish line. The hefty fines to be incurred if a business does not adhere to this new data protection regulation can amount to €20 million or, alternatively, 4% of global annual turnover.
In Mazars and McCann FitzGerald’s second annual report of 2017, they revealed that 95% of Irish businesses find GDPR compliance very challenging, however, 73% believe themselves prepared to tackle the challenge. Do you consider yourself one of the 73%?
The GDPR challenge
The implementation of necessary systems and processes for GDPR compliance is proving to be a difficult hurdle for many businesses. How personal data is stored, processed and protected is under careful scrutiny. The portability and erasure of this data must be easily handled and any data breaches must be reported within 72 hours. Ultimately, this challenge is defined by a need for an exceptional organisation of data as well as the ability to carefully monitor and access said data.
The solution? Seamlessly integrated applications!
“With roughly 160 GDPR requirements ranging from how you collect, store and use personal information, to mandating a 72-hour notification for personal data breaches, it’s clear that using cloud technology can help accelerate the path to compliance for most organizations.” Microsoft
At Unity, we have found that the key to effectively complying with GDPR is seamlessly integrated applications, something the cloud does extremely effectively. Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and service is a digital ecosystem that is designed to talk to every corner of itself, allowing for intelligent and sophisticated management of not only sensitive data but ALL data.
Azure is designed to store massive amounts of data while ensuring that the data remains easily accessible for analysing in real time, resulting in meaningful decision-making capabilities. Complying with GDPR has been easy for Microsoft Azure, due to the intelligent capabilities of its integrated services, as well as having a foundation of enterprise-class security underpinning every aspect of it.
Data management and security
In Microsoft Office 365, Advanced eDiscovery provides your organisation with the capabilities to locate what you require and retrieve it easily rather than having to manually search through thousands of files. Data from every Office 365 asset is put at your fingertips. This is made simple by consistent filtering and categorising of data. Duplicates are removed to keep data relevant and meaningful, while machine learning is used to provide an efficient filtering process.
Microsoft’s CRM system, Dynamics, provides a holistic view of all customer relationships. This is not only fantastic for providing sales and marketing strategies with intelligent data insight, but it also monitors which users have access to personal data, which can be defined by job role and individual records.
This Azure service allows you to control who has access to what, allowing you to revoke access if necessary. Whether the data is kept within the company or shared to a third party, embedded classification and security ensure it is protected. Activities conducted on shared data are now visible so you can track and monitor your sensitive data at all times.
Audit logs are used to track actions taken across all your Office 365 assets, whether it is the downloading of a document, sharing of a document, a login, password reset or setting changes, it can be recorded here. This way risks can be identified quickly so that sensitive data is protected and threats are contained.
This is encryption security which specifically caters to your customers’ content. It is an extra layer of security that gives you access to and control of keys used to encrypt data across Office 365. This gives you the ultimate control over your data, allowing you to make certain data in the cloud unreadable which in turn triggers its deletion.
Microsoft is in the unique position of being able to provide a truly GDPR-compliant service straight off the bat because of built-in controls that have been sensitive to personal data and its protection since Azure’s inception. Since GDPR was announced, Microsoft has drawn up contractual commitments to be GDPR compliant for its clients. This is a significant step because under this new regulation a business and the third party services it uses, such as a cloud provider, can be held responsible for a data breach.
In the case of Microsoft Azure, you do not only have the exceptional data management capabilities that only integrated cloud applications can provide, but also the assurance of a leading cloud provider who has built their services on the same principles that are the foundation of GDPR.