Is your business prepared for the new data laws? Understanding and complying with the GDPR

The new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May 2018, yet 96% of companies do not fully understand it. With only 18 months to prepare, according to Computer Weekly, only 22% of businesses consider GDPR compliance a top priority. However, the consequences for non-compliance should not be ignored: any business that does not comply will either have to cease operations with European countries, or incur severe fines. Breaches of the GDPR could lead to fines of up to €20 million, or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is greater.

Businesses already have a day-to-day responsibility for protecting customer data, including personal information and payment details. The GDPR, however, supersedes national laws such as the UK Data Protection Act (DPA) of 1998. To comply, organisations will need to instigate various new procedures, including introducing ‘privacy by design’ into their workflow. This means that businesses need to be able to demonstrate that adequate data security is in place as a matter of course.

The new rules require demonstrable use of processes and technology to protect data. This may mean investing in expensive technologies, such as sophisticated encryption software, to protect sensitive data. However, it can be as simple as making small changes to the physical office environment, such as ensuring that documents and electronic devices are safely locked away when not in use. We expect to see a rise in the use of lockable desk drawers and cabinets, as organisations begin demonstrating due diligence in protecting data, and more diligent access control within the office environment.

For those wanting to prepare for the GDPR, lockable office furniture is a simple way to start, providing additional security in the workplace. Documents and files, as well as hand-held electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and phones, can be safely locked away. Compact, discreet locks can easily be retrofitted onto drawers and cabinets, instantly providing cost-effective and secure storage. Keypad coded locks remove the hassle of managing keys and provide public and private function options, maximising their potential usage. For example, a unique code can be assigned to individuals or multiple, ‘disposable’ codes can be entered once by multiple people. These kind of features enhance your ability to track and control access. The use of the latest smart keyless lock technology supports the use of audit trails for a detailed breakdown of who has accessed lockers or offices.

The rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) also necessitates additional security in the working environment, since it introduces data protection risks and vulnerabilities. It is important for employees to leave their devices securely locked up during lunch breaks or when they are at meetings away from their desks. An additional benefit of introducing lockable office furniture is that employees can be assigned secure spaces to store their personal possessions, keeping desks tidy.

If you want to get GDPR-ready by updating your office environment, you can view our full range of keyless coded locks here.

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