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    Smarten your GDPR compliance efforts with automated data monitoring

    The GDPR has moved data and its management up the to-do list of every organisation. It’s not just the threat of fines and the reputational impact of a data breach, but the realisation that good data governance and high-quality data is crucial to the success of many business transformation and change initiatives.

    What organisations are now beginning to recognise is that the day to day effort to maintain GDPR compliance is a labour-intensive exercise, difficult to manage and fraught with ‘data breach’ risk.

    In this article, we look at how automated data monitoring can help you to keep control of data in compliance with current laws.

    Data monitoring: why does it matter?

    Achieving and maintaining GDPR compliance necessarily requires your employees, compliance and audit teams to check data to ensure processes are being carried out. These checks will typically involve obtaining answers to one or more of the following questions:

    • What personal and sensitive data am I holding? I.e. is data being collected in accordance with my data privacy policy
    • Do I have consent to process?
    • Is the data we hold within our data retention policy?
    • Where is the data stored and who has access to it?
    • Are we respecting data subject rights? E.g. right to be forgotten
    • What data are we sharing with third parties?

    Given the scale and complexity of the modern enterprise’s data estate at best your company resources will be stretched undertaking anything other than an ad-hoc check of a random sample of data. So,

    Is this going to help mitigate a data breach?Does it provide assurance to the management team and board that the organisation is compliant?

    Simply put, it is almost impossible to manually check the levels of data necessary to be sufficiently confident in your organisation’s GDPR compliance status.

    There is however a way forward that was recently proposed by leading management consultancy McKinsey…

    “Companies will need to increase automation and streamline their organization if they are not to be overwhelmed by the challenge of sustaining GDPR compliance over the long term.” – (McKinsey 2018)

    How can data management software help?

    Data management software automatically collects data from any digital source within your organisation’s data estate. Then, the software indexes and classifies your data, storing it in a scalable, searchable enterprise data store.

    The software then automatically classifies, monitors and alerts you if it discovers anything awry.

    For example, personal data in a publicly accessible zone, data that is being stored for a data subject that has requested to be forgotten, data that falls outside of your retention policy, records that do not have the requisite level of consent and so on. Imagine being able to do that against every data item as the data is collected? How much more assured would you be about your compliance levels?

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