GDPR: Are You Ready for the Changes?
The General Data Protection Regulation – or GDPR, as it’s more commonly known – is set to come into effect from May 25th 2018. With less than a year to go until the new sheriff of data protection arrives in town, it’s more essential than ever for businesses to get ready for the change it’ll bring.
If you’re not feeling ready – or just plain don’t understand what the GDPR is – don’t worry: the Lunar Team is here to help, with answers to some common questions down below.
What is the GDPR?
The GDPR is an EU-wide directive which will see all member states held to the same level of accountability around how user data is collected and stored. Now before you get your hopes up thinking Brexit will make us exempt, well…we have some bad news to tell you.
Despite the UK’s eventual departure from the EU, we’ll still be included within the GDPR roll-out in 2018. That means that if you’re not ready, it’s time to take a deep breath and crack on with implementing new data protection policies throughout your organisation.
How Will It Affect My Business?
The main difference GDPR will make to your business is how you handle customer data. Strict procedures will need to be in place to avoid a hefty fine – one which could cost you either €2million or 4% of your company’s annual revenue (whichever is greater). This instantly means that small businesses also have to be aware of what’s happening with their customer data, or else face a fine from which they might not recover.
As we’ve previously mentioned on our blog, GDPR will have a distinct effect on your marketing efforts, meaning that double opt-in for email lists will become the de-facto method of email address collection. Elsewhere in your business, your IT will need to be secure in order to protect customer data and comply with the GDPR’s guidelines.
What Should I Do?
Although time is getting on, if you haven’t done anything just yet, there’s still a window of opportunity open. You can also rest assured that only 10% of UK businesses have declared themselves as GDPR compliant – so you’re not alone.
To get you started, here are some areas you can cover straight away:
- Get basic protection against cyberattacks in place immediately – including updated software and operating systems, and adequate antivirus protection
- With the basics out of the way, focus on data collection and data protection policies
- Follow the ICO’s free guide to preparing for GDPR – available here
- Put GDPR preparation as a company-wide priority
It’s imperative to get started on GDPR preparation as soon as possible – although May 2018 seems like a long way away, priorities can shift as time goes on, and you may find it impossible to tackle such a task so close to the deadline.
Once you’ve got the scary stuff out of the way, why not look to new ways to manage customer data with a bespoke CRM solution, featuring instant reporting, cloud-hosting, and remote connectivity. To find out more – and to book your free demo – get in touch with our team.