All over the UK people woke up this morning to something many thought would not happen: Britain voting to leave the European Union. It will take years and possibly even decades before we fully appreciate the repercussions. But from a data protection and privacy perspective, little in reality will change. The UK can’t afford to let its digital economy be locked out of Europe, which is why the government is likely to enforce laws on a par with the forthcoming European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The message is clear for UK IT security bosses: stay on the path towards GDPR compliance. Continue reading →
The enforcement date for the long-awaited European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was announced this week: 25 May 2018. Now there are many reasons why UK CISOS might want to look the other way when they hear that news. Two years, after all, seems like a very long time away. It’s also very tempting to delay any compliance efforts until after the EU referendum, which could very well go the way of Brexit. The received logic is that this would let IT departments up and down the country off the hook for GDPR compliance.
But that’s a dangerous game to play. It’s likely that even in the event of a ‘Leave’ vote, the UK would be forced to align its data protection laws with the EU. So the message is still very much: “Brexit or no Brexit, IT leaders must start planning now for the GDPR.” Continue reading →
Last week, the much-anticipated European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) passed its final regulatory hurdle. There’s no going back now: on 4 May 2018 all UK organisations will be bound by the new laws – which introduce a series of rigorous requirements designed to enhance privacy protections for EU citizens and harmonise rules across the region.
But with potential fines of 4% of annual turnover for transgressors, how many UK IT leaders really know what they need to do to comply? Concerning new figures from Trend Micro suggest widespread ignorance of the new laws is putting organisations right in the firing line.
Heads in the sand The GDPR will introduce several key changes, which UK organisations need to start thinking about now. May 2018 might sound a long way off, but it’s little more than 700 working days away. Key among these new elements are:
Mandatory appointment of data protection officers for large firms
Mandatory breach notification within 72 hours of an incident
Fines of €20m or 4% annual global turnover – whichever is higher
Right to be forgotten
Right to data portability
Multinationals will only need to report to one national privacy regulator – in the country they’re headquartered
So exactly how low is awareness of the forthcoming regulation among IT leaders? Worryingly, a fifth (20%) of those Trend Micro spoke to in a new piece of research are still unaware of its existence. Of those that are, nearly a third (29%) don’t think that the regulation will apply to their organisation, or are unsure. Even worse, a quarter of IT leaders (26%) don’t know how much time they have to become compliant, and nearly one in 10 don’t know what steps to take to do so.
Getting ready for 2018 The truth is that the regulation is far from prescriptive in what it requires from organisations and their IT departments. It demands they do business a certain way in order to better protect the privacy rights of their customers, but doesn’t specify particular data loss prevention tools, or encryption technologies, for example. On the one hand this presents challenges for the IT department. But it is also designed to encourage a more holistic approach to information security, which fits with a best practice, strategic approach.
With that in mind, here are just a few steps organisations should be thinking about now, in order to prepare for May 2018:
Conduct a data audit to find out what data you hold and how you are using it
Classify data according to sensitivity and your organisation’s risk appetite
DLP technologies can help prevent accidental and deliberate data leaks
Staff awareness and user education training programs to focus on data protection
Restrict number of privileged accounts and roll-out strong authentication (eg 2FA) for those accounts
Regular pen testing to check the resilience of systems to attack
Develop an incident response plan to ensure you can report within 72 hours. Involve key stakeholders including legal, HR, PR teams etc
Advanced server-side technologies like Deep Security can help lock down risk across physical, virtual and cloud environments from a single console
Regulator the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just released new security guidance for medical device manufacturers as part of a major push to improve information security in the healthcare sector there. With its recommendations to follow industry frameworks like NIST, improve information sharing and adopt best practices around vulnerability disclosures, it’s a long overdue and positive step from the agency. So what of the UK’s healthcare sector?
With the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fast approaching, I’m afraid to say things are still far from where they should be. Healthcare is by a country mile the worst offender when it comes to data security incidents. It’s time that changed. Continue reading →