The technological advancements of the modern world are nothing short of amazing. As a result, industries and businesses today have become more efficient and effective. Some of the wide range of benefits include higher sales and conversions, better marketing campaigns, and improved collaboration and productivity. But, not surprisingly, malicious entities have also found ways and means to exploit these innovations. And while you may automatically blame the usual cyber criminals, some may hide behind the cloak of legitimacy while misusing your data to advance their agenda.
Particularly at risk are B2B SaaS (Business-to-Business Software as a Service) firms. These companies sell cloud-based software to help businesses and organizations solve their pain points. As such, they act as processors on the latter’s behalf and are privy to their data and systems. If their data security is breached, their clients’ customers are also compromised. Fortunately, there is something that can be done about it—via GDPR compliance.
If your business or organization falls under the B2B SaaS category and you collect and process the personal information of E.U. citizens, then this blog post is for you. We’ll run you through some of the top tips to help you tick off that GDPR checklist and boost your data security from the get-go.
What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for “General Data Protection Regulation.” This is a legal instrument created by the European Union designed to enable organizations and enterprises to manage personal data better, help prevent data breaches, and strengthen customer relationships.
This law, which is said to be the world’s toughest security and privacy law since its approval in 2016, has been a boon to many enterprises. According to the 2019 Data Privacy Benchmark Study, compliance with the GDPR gave a competitive edge to 41% of the respondents. Moreover, a company’s adherence to GDPR can boost its credibility and customer confidence. This means more transactions to boost both topline and bottom-line numbers.
Top GDPR Compliance Hacks for B2B SaaS Agencies
To enjoy all the advantages of GDPR conformity, you’ve got to know how to comply in the first place. Here are some of the best compliance tips you can apply:
1. Choose the right GDPR representatives.
First, select a data protection officer or DPO who will own the entire GDPR compliance process. They will be responsible for evaluating your company’s current conformity to the applicable data protection rules. Their assessment will help them develop the necessary GDPR policies and procedures for your organization. At the same time, they will also be the point person for individuals who have questions or clarifications about how their data is being handled.
This DPO should be distinct from the E.U. representative. The latter’s primary role is that of a liaison officer or legal officer between the E.U. and a company. They shall take care of access requests from E.U. authorities and coordinate with them on data breach notifications. You will require this representation if your company is established outside of the Union but also gather its citizens’ data.
2. Provide adequate GDPR compliance training for your employees.
Your employees may already know the importance of robust data security practices. For instance, they may already be applying user authentication protocols, proper cable management with the use of locking power cords, and even encryption. However, you’ll still need to ensure that they are adequately educated about GDPR policies and procedures.
Are they well-versed with the GDPR? Do they know what types of data need protection? Do they know how to handle clients’ and customers’ queries about how their personal information is being used? Can they mitigate the damage to your business if a data breach occurs? What about the penalties for non-compliance? Helping your team members know the best practices to follow will enable them to cooperate more fully.
I.T. is one specific department that needs to be on top of GDPR compliance. They should be knowledgeable about the data security methods recommended in the GDPR. These include anonymization or pseudonymization. Your tech team should also conduct regular vulnerability scans on your networks. This will enable them to readily detect vulnerable areas or potential security gaps.
3. Verify the GDPR compliance of your third-party vendors.
If the suppliers and subcontractors you deal with are not GDPR-compliant, you may have a huge—and costly—problem on your hands. So what must you do then? Reach out to them directly what their level of compliance is. Should it turn out they are in violation of GDPR policies and procedures, then so are you.
To protect yourself, never assume that third-party vendors will take GDPR compliance seriously. You’ll need to apply due diligence and cover your GDPR agreements with a contract. For example, consider including a provision that they should not outsource any services in which the GDPR is in scope. In addition, conduct regular audits to ensure that your vendors’ processes conform to the GDPR.
The Bottom Line
The decision to ensure that your company is GDPR-compliant makes good economic sense. Sure, you’ll be able to avoid the hefty fines that violators are penalized with. But, more importantly, the rigorous GDPR standards will encourage you to streamline your processes and become a more capable data processor and handler. This will build your clients’ trust and confidence in you, turning them into long-term business partners. GDPR compliance is definitely a win-win situation for everyone involved. So ensure that you comply with GDPR policies and procedures and get ready to reap the invaluable benefits of doing so.
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