Cyber Cops

GDPR Compliance: Overview

Privacy is the first right of every human. In today’s tech-savvy world when everyone and everything is present online, maintaining privacy has become the most grueling task. Each and every organization is working with data and often personal data.

Though they store this data for ethical purposes, the risk of data breach or leak is always around the corner. In such a case the privacy of a lot of common users is at risk. To deal with this situation the European Union has made GDPR a standard of security for every organization dealing with the personal data of users.

GDPR is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of every EU citizen for transactions that occur within EU member states. Any sort of non-compliance will be considered as a punishable offense.

Any organization that collects and deals with the personal data of European Citizens needs to follow all the provisions mentioned in the GDPR compliance. GDPR sets new standards for consumer rights regarding their data. However, it becomes a challenge for organizations as they put systems and processes in place to maintain compliance.

Complying with the guidelines will cause some concerns and expectations for the security team. Organizations need to have the same level of protection for things like IP addresses or cookie data just as they do for names, addresses, and social security numbers.

GDPR provides a lot of scope for adjustments in compliance. It states that every organization must provide a certain level of protection for personal data. However, it does not specify any selected method or extent of security that is necessary to fulfill GDPR compliance requirements.

Let's descend a little more and take a look at the checklist that needs to be fulfilled to get GDPR compliant.

GDPR Compliance Checklist

Here are some pointers that need to be fulfilled in order to be compliant with GDPR.


GDPR requires that personal data must be processed according to six principles.

  • Lawfulness, Fairness, and Transparency
  • Purpose Limitation
  • Data Minimization
  • Accuracy
  • Storage Limitation
  • Integrity and Confidentiality

All six principles are required to showcase accountability. If you handle or manage data, you must keep records to demonstrate your compliance.

An audit needs to consider the extent to which data protection accountability, responsibility, policies and procedures, performance measurement controls, and reporting mechanisms are in place and operating throughout the organization.

Risk Management

Organizations should take a risk-based approach to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures. It includes conducting DPIAs (data protection impact assessments) in certain circumstances. DPIAs are a type of risk assessment that identifies risks that might affect the security of personal data.

A GDPR audit should examine

  • Whether privacy risk is included in the corporate risk register
  • What are the arrangements made by the organization for privacy risk management
  • The extent to which a corporate risk regime incorporates information-specific risks
  • Address the risks that have the slightest chance of compromising the security of personal information
GDPR Project

Any compliance project is very likely to run into difficulties without board-level support. Efforts should be made by every aspect of the organization in order to maintain compliance. An audit should examine the GDPR project and evaluate if it is realistic and achievable.

DPO (data protection officer)

GDPR requires an appointment of a DPO for the following

  • If processing is carried out by a public authority or body
  • If the core activities of the organization require regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale.
  • If the core activities involve large-scale processing of personal data or any data related to criminal convictions or offenses.

In various cases, it is desirable to appoint a DPO irrespective of the legal requirements. Although the DPO has the same legal status whether the appointment is voluntary or mandatory.

An audit determines whether a DPO is mandatory, has been appointed, and is positioned appropriately and capable of fulfilling the GDPR's requirements.

Roles and Responsibilities

An audit should examine and verify the roles and responsibilities defined throughout the organization. They also need to make sure that the training and awareness measures are up to the mark. It is their duty to keep a check on the effectiveness of the onboarding and offboarding processes.

Scope of Compliance

The scope of compliance must be clearly defined. It includes all the data processing in which the organization is involved as a controller or processor. All data-sharing activities are also included in the same.

Determining the scope of compliance requires the identification of all databases containing personal data, all processing activities, and all extraterritorial processing.

Process Analysis

A record of all the processing activities should be maintained by the controller as per Article 30. The auditor will examine these records to check how well each data processing principle is established for each process involving personal data.

The lawful bases for processing, processes that require DPIA, and where DPIA might help establish data protection are all taken into account during the audit.

PIMS (Privacy Information Management System)

For most organizations, complying with GDPR requires a lot of documentation like data breach notification procedures, subject access request forms, DPIAs, data protection policies, and consent forms.

The amount of documentation is not predefined. It is determined by the size and complexity of the organization.

PIMS will order the documentation appropriately and should also address staff awareness training. ISO 27701 is the international standard set for the requirements of PIMS. It is also in sync with the requirements of GDPR.

ISMS (Information Security Management System)

The ISMS determines whether you have adequate security measures put in place to protect personal data in hard copy or electronic form. It includes a review of methodologies for testing security, and established cyber security certifications, standards, and codes of practice.

ISO 27001:2013 is the international standard set for the requirements of an ISMS. If organizations fulfill the requirements for ISMS they can achieve independently audited certification to demonstrate their compliance.

Rights of End-Users

Under GDPR end users have the following rights

  • Right to be Informed
  • Right to access
  • Right to rectification
  • Right to erasure
  • Right to restrict processing
  • Right to data portability
  • Right to object
  • Rights in relation to automated decision-making and profiling

Who Will Take Care of Compliance Within the Organization?

GDPR has defined the roles that are responsible for maintaining compliance. Data controller, Data processor, and Data protection officer.

Data Controller

The data controller defines how personal data is processed and the purpose for which it is processed. The controller is also responsible for making sure that outside contractors comply with the guidelines mentioned in GDPR.

Data processors

Data processors are the internal groups that maintain and process personal data records. It can also be an outsourcing firm that takes care of maintaining the records. Processors are held responsible for breaches or non-compliance.

If any breach happens, your company as well as the outsourcing company will be liable for penalties.

Data Protection Officer

The job of a data protection officer is to keep an eye on the data security strategy. Organizations should have a DPO if they process or store large amounts of personal data, monitors end users, or are a public authority.

How Can Organizations Maintain Compliance?

If you feel that you are not able to maintain compliance single-handedly, there are various steps you can follow to keep yourself on the right path.

Set a Sense of Urgency That Comes from Top

The leadership of any organization plays a vital role in prioritizing preparedness. Complying with global data hygiene standards will keep you a step ahead

Involve All the Stakeholders

Organizations should create a task force that comprises of people from marketing, finance, sales, operations, and any other department that manages PII.

When they serve as a representative on the GDPR task force, they can share information that will be useful in implementing the procedural changes. It will make them ready to deal with any impact on their teams.

Conduct Periodic Risk Assessments

You must always be aware of what data you store and process on EU citizens. You should understand the risks associated with it.

The risk assessment also outlines measures taken to mitigate the risks. A key element of this assessment will outline measures taken to mitigate these risks.

Hire a DPO If You Don’t Have One

There are no set rules or requirements for a DPO, hence organizations can give the post to someone who already has a similar position. All you need to keep in mind is that the person can ensure complete protection of PII with no conflict of interest.

A virtual DPO is also an alternative organization can go for. GDPR rules allow a DPO to work for multiple organizations at the same time so a virtual DPO will be like a consultant who works when needed.

How Cyber Cops Can Help

Cyber Cops is a leading cyber security organization that has made its name by providing their best services to various organizations. We have experts that can help you get GDPR compliance certification. Our GDPR compliance consultants will also guide you through the process of maintaining compliance.

We always update all our clients regarding any changes in the guidelines that may affect compliance.

As suggested by our names, we are the cops you need for your digital protection. You will always find us by your side whenever you go for a battle against cyber-crimes.

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