GDPR – Overview and Guides

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Everyone wants to be global today and wants personalization, yet everyone also wants their data to be private and securely protected. From day-to-day grocery needs to commuting, social media apps, or even services like medical help, so many businesses are using so much information and personal data to transact, fulfill their consumer’s needs, or deliver seamless solutions to those needs. To provide products, services, and information to users, data is stored and processed at multiple levels. In a larger scenario, how these businesses are going to protect your data privacy and security is a big question. As a user, it becomes important to make sure that all your personal data is collected in a secure and legal way. So the user has the choice and power to share information freely and willingly if needed. This places more power in the user’s hands and extra responsibility on the businesses that are using the provided data or information to treat it in a certain way. To control and regularize the storage and processing of data, the European Union decided to update its existing set of data protection laws. The European Parliament has passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This document consists of 99 articles of law. With effect from May 2018, it is mandated that all organizations be compliant with these laws.

What is GDPR?

GDPR ensures that all personal data is collected in a secure and legal manner with proper consent from the users. Being compliant with GDPR means cloud-hosted companies that are doing business with EU citizens or located in the EU have improved data protection mechanisms that offer better privacy for employees, customers, and third parties within the EU.

GDPR certification is an important regulation to obtain certification from approved accreditation bodies to demonstrate to the EU and customers that they are GDPR-compliant.

This involves the most meticulous privacy policies and security laws in the world. Even though it may sound like it is limited to European legislation, it is globally recognized, as any cloud-hosted company, irrespective of location, must comply with it to do business with EU citizens.

The GDPR certification entitles companies to demonstrate to their country’s supervisory authority that they have fulfilled technical and organizational measures as per GDPR obligations. And if there is a personal data breach, the relevant supervisory authority can audit the company and levy fines and penalties for non-compliance. GDPR compliance also takes strict measures to protect data against loss due to external events like natural disasters or destruction and from cybercriminals who can attempt to access sensitive and confidential information.

Key principles of GDPR

There are seven key principles that govern GDPR, as follows:

  1. Lawfulness and transparency: All data processing must be done legally with the user’s consent. The user must know what information is being collected, how it is being stored, for how long this data will exist in the controller’s system, and with whom it will be shared.
  2. Purpose limitation: Once the initial purpose of data collection is established, the user must be informed of the same. The controller cannot collect or process data that falls outside its purpose.
  3. Data minimization: Only necessary data must be collected, even if it is for the general purpose of data collection.
  4. Accuracy: All processed data must be accurate and up to date. There must be processes to ensure this and that inaccurate data is rectified or deleted immediately.
  5. Storage limitation: Personal data cannot be stored for longer than necessary. Once the purpose of data collection is achieved, the data must be deleted and archived for further use.
  6. Integrity and confidentiality: When collecting and processing personal data, all suitable security controls, privacy measures, and policy changes must be made. This data must also be protected against accidental loss, destruction, and cyberattacks.
  7. Accountability: The controller of the data is responsible for being compliant.

Types of data GDPR protects

GDPR protects the types of data mentioned below:

  1. Personal data that relates to an identified or identifiable ‘individual’, for example;
    • name, address, and/or personal ID numbers
  2. Web data such as location, IP address, cookie data, etc.
  3. Special Category Information, as
    • Health and genetic data
    • Political opinions
    • Biometric data
    • Racial or ethnic data
    • Sexual orientation

Why Should I Pursue GDPR Attestation?

If you are an organization willing to expand and be recognized globally, you need to establish a streamlined and GDPR guided approach to data privacy and security. It is important to be seen as a transparent organization by the user to gain user confidence and brand loyalty. As the GDPR regulations are uniform across all 28 countries in the EU, GDPR compliance requires businesses to follow mandated regulations to do business in the EU, taking responsibility for growing public concerns over data collection, storage, and processing.

It is important to note that Europe is always conscious of the importance of public content safety, and a more detailed regulation was curated and is implemented in GDPR.

Types of GDPR Certification

There are several types of GDPR Certifications available, each with a different Scope and Purpose. Here are some of the most common types of GDPR Certifications:

  1. GDPR Data Protection Officer [DPO] Certification: This Certification is for individuals who serve as Data Protection Officers [DPOs] for companies that process the personal data of individuals within the EU. It verifies that the individual has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their role and comply with GDPR requirements.
  2. GDPR Foundation Certification: This Certification is for individuals who need to understand the key principles of GDPR and its requirements. It provides a basic understanding of the GDPR and its implications for businesses.
  3. GDPR Practitioner Certification: This Certification is for individuals who are responsible for ensuring GDPR Compliance within their Organization. It verifies that the individual has the necessary knowledge & skills to implement GDPR Compliance measures and manage GDPR-related issues.
  4. GDPR Audit Certification: This Certification is for Auditors who conduct GDPR Compliance Audits for companies. It verifies that the Auditor has the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct a thorough GDPR Compliance Audit.
  5. GDPR Certification for Products and Services: This Certification is for products and services that process the personal data of individuals within the EU. It verifies that the product or service meets GDPR Requirements and is GDPR Compliant.

You can refer to the Guide to Achieving GDPR Certification with TrustCloud for more information.

How long is the GDPR process for an organization going to take?

The time taken to obtain a GDPR certificate varies depending on the type of Certification and the Certification Body’s Policies. Some Certifications are valid for a few years, and some may require an annual review and renewal. Organizations can consult with the Certification Body to understand the duration for obtaining their GDPR Certification.

Obtaining GDPR compliance certification involves the following steps:

  1. Prepare for GDPR certification
  2. Define personal data policy
  3. Create a list of processing activities
  4. Define a process to manage data subject rights
  5. Run a data protection impact assessment (DIPA)
  6. Make personal data transfers safe
  7. Amend third-party contracts
  8. Secure personal and sensitive data
  9. Define how data breaches will be handled

Prepare yourself for GDPR with the help of a checklist from to gauge your readiness for GDPR.

What happens after you become compliant?

After becoming GDPR compliant, as an organization, it is an ongoing process to stay compliant with it. As your company grows, evolves, or modifies its operations, compliance criteria also change, and you need to keep up with them constantly. Failing to do so may cause your company a fine/ penalty, and it can hamper your brand’s reputation and the overall business as well. It is advised to automate your compliance process to make it a hassle-free task. This can save you time, effort, and money while maintaining accuracy.

GDPR Certification is an effective way for businesses to demonstrate their transparency towards data protection and Compliance with GDPR. The cost of Certification depends on several factors, such as the type of Certification you choose, the size of the organization, the complexity of the data processing, and your level of readiness for Certification. The cost also includes certification fees, consultant fees, and internal costs such as Employee training, documentation, and Audit preparation.

With data privacy becoming an increasingly important concern for consumers, becoming GDPR Certified may not only attract more business, but it may also come with organization wide benefits such as strengthening data protection practices, gaining global recognition, enhancing brand value, and gaining customer trust. Achieving GDPR Certification can offer several benefits, such as improved data protection practices, competitive advantage, and enhanced trust with customers.

Why TrustOps for GDPR Preparation?

At TrustCloud, we fulfill all your compliance needs to implement GDPR compliance and achieve certification to the standard. At TrustCloud, get audit ready to be compliant with GDPR as quickly as possible with TrustOps. Here are some key benefits of using TrustOps.

  1. Prep for audits ASAP: Programmatic evidence collection & control verification
  2. Set your business up for success: Audit reports trusted by enterprise companies
  3. Save time on security questionnaires: AI-powered responses, and security page creation
  4. Get the guidance you need: Documentation, compliance knowledge center, and a team of experts to answer your questions

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