Dot your i's and cross your t's if you want to progress in the information age. Source: Shutterstock

Dot your i’s and cross your t’s if you want to progress in the information age. Source: Shutterstock

Building confidence in compliance with GDPR and other regulations

AS the year draws to a close, board members at most companies are putting their heads together to solve some of the challenges they faced this year but didn’t solve completely.

One of those is the need to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Or rather, comply “comfortably”.

At present, most APAC companies doing business with the EU have complied with the GDPR in terms of data collection and storage.

But it also means that the development and deployment of many of the customization features these businesses planned have been put on hold while they grapple with access management, data encryption, anonymization, and other related issues.

A simple search on Google will reveal that there are several forums and events taking place in the region right now that are discussing the topic.

Just this week, the topic was discussed at the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Forum in New Zealand as well as the tech-driven as the Canalys Channels Forum (CCF) 2018 APAC.

In fact, Kaseya APAC General Manager Craig Allen, who is a sponsor at the CCF 2018 APAC event, emphasized to Tech Wire Asia that most companies in the region are still working on GDPR compliance and that it’s definitely going to be something they aim to solve together in the coming year.

Allen’s company recently acquired RapidFire Tools, one of whose products AuditGuru claims to help clients strengthen their compliance with GDPR and other upcoming data protection regulations.

GDPR is really a data governance problem

To be quite fair, it’s not just the APAC that’s struggling with GDPR compliance, and it’s not just a GDPR compliance problem per se.

Regulators across the world are growing increasingly concerned and cautious about how their residents’ data is captured, stored, used, and managed by companies, and are formulating laws to ensure data is gathered and used more transparently (and ethically).

As a result, companies need to realize that thriving in this new world where data is valued so highly by governments, customers, and all stakeholders, data governance is critical for businesses continuity and survival.

“Nobody said the road to GDPR compliance would be easy but most organizations have found it to be a worthwhile – albeit at times painful – exercise in terms of information governance, something they may not have done otherwise,” said law firm McCann FitzGerald Partner Paul Lavery recently.

Once companies know everything there is to know about the lifecycle of data in their business, it’s not difficult to comply with data regulations new and old.

Further, understanding how your company uses data can help it customize and enrich your customer’s experience without risking a breach of local or international privacy laws by ensuring proper permissions have been acquired.

At the end of the day, companies want to wow their customers and customers are happy to provide data to companies they can trust to protect their data.

Compliance with the GDPR and other laws, therefore, is an exercise that companies should be doing anyway in order to build that confidence — from within.