Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud

7/12/2016
11:30 AM
Kaushik Narayan
Kaushik Narayan
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
50%
50%

EUs General Data Protection Regulation Is Law: Now What?

Organizations have two years to prepare to act as borrowers, not owners, of customer data. Here are seven provisions of the new GPDR you ignore at your peril.

It’s time for companies to face the music on data privacy. EU legislators signed data privacy regulations into law in April, and the clock is ticking for implementation in 2018. Before we entertain objections that the law places unreasonable demands on companies with EU citizens’ personal data, let’s remember that security and privacy are joined at the hip. You can’t ensure data privacy without adequate information security.

Moving forward without proper security only slows the progress companies push for. Consumers have lost faith in cybersecurity in digital commerce and online activity, according to a recent National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) survey. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will hold companies accountable for security controls they should already have in place. New regulations are not only necessary, they’re overdue.

Getting Acquainted with the GDPR
Organizations essentially have two years to prepare to act as data borrowers, not owners. When a company collects customer data, it is on loan. The customer can monitor its use, decide who accesses it, and demand its return. A company must have the ability to audit and control each of these processes in order to comply with the new law. One can imagine how difficult this will be for global enterprises with thousands of vendors and partners. The sooner organizations can start, the better. The new law comes into effect on May 25, 2018.

IT, security, and compliance practitioners must familiarize themselves with the requirements. Ambitious readers can find the 200-page law available online, or an in-depth guide. To get started, here are seven key provisions you should not ignore:

  1. Fines With Teeth: In the past, regulators claim companies brushed fines off as mere "pocket money." Individual countries defined their own fines, further exacerbating the challenge to the regulation’s impact. The new law will raise the maximum fine to four percent of global revenue or €20M, whichever is higher.
  2. Ringing the Data Breach Alarm: We’ve grown accustomed to data breach notifications coming months after the fact – or even years. Under the new law, companies will have 72 hours to report data loss to their regional authority. Reducing the timeline from months to hours will force companies to put in place defined policies on responding to data breaches. If you thought having a breach response plan in place was a given, think again: only 44.5% of companies have a complete plan, according to a Cloud Security Alliance survey.
  3. Regulations Beyond Borders: This provision should grab the attention of any global companies who were exempt from the previous regulation because they were not headquartered in the EU. Now any organization with data on EU individuals must comply with the regulation, wherever they are based. Experts have already predicted the law will encompass "pretty much every website and app in the world."
  4. Know Your Partners: Hackers have realized that the easiest path to a company’s sensitive data can be third-party contractors, from an HVAC vendor to a press release wire service. Under the new law, any company who touches regulated data must comply with the law, even if they are not the data collector. For companies who do not have a full list of vendors and business partners, taking inventory and evaluating risk will be an essential undertaking.
  5. No Running from the Law: Companies can transfer data outside the EU, including to cloud providers with servers based in other countries. The company does not hand off responsibility and still remains liable for any lost data.
  6. One Law for One Continent: Up until now, enforcement on data privacy infractions has been inconsistent even among European countries, with certain countries taking tougher stances than others. The GDPR will standardize all countries under the same strict law, so there will be no surprises for companies based on the region of enforcement. 
  7. Encryption as a Saving Grace: Encryption is a powerful tool for reducing risk in the event of data loss, and the GDPR recognizes this capability. Encrypting data exempts a company from its breach notification responsibility. Rather than encrypt all customer data, companies should encrypt fields containing regulated data. Doing so before data leaves the company network can also provide a method of reducing third-party risk, especially from cloud providers.

Companies collect more information on customers than ever as business moves online and data collection happens so seamlessly that companies can lose sight of the responsibility that comes with storing sensitive information. The GDPR codifies the belief that "the protection of natural persons in relation to the processing of personal data is a fundamental right…" Rather than fight the regulation, companies should embrace the new requirements as a means of establishing trust with customers and ultimately accelerating digital commerce.

Related content:

Kaushik Narayan is a co-founder and CTO at Skyhigh Networks, where he is responsible for Skyhigh's technology vision and software architecture. He brings over 18 years of experience driving technology and architecture strategy for enterprise-class products. He has been ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Pablo Valerio
50%
50%
Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Strategist
7/13/2016 | 11:13:52 AM
Re: Great Britain exits the EU: Now what?
Charlie, it is highly likely that the UK will join the European Economic Area (EEA) as a way to stay in the common market (the Norway option) without EU membership. Leaving the single market altogether will be disastrous.

Being part of the EEA, however, requres full compliance with EU regulations. The case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union is also of relevance to the EEA Agreement. 

For the most part the UK will probably have to comply with the GDPR, but it will have no voice in the EU council, nor in the EU parliament.

(for the record, I'm married to a Brit and she is really mad about Brexit)
Charlie Babcock
50%
50%
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Ninja
7/12/2016 | 2:14:31 PM
Great Britain exits the EU: Now what?
"The GDPR will standardize all countries under the same strict law," the story says, which is true until Britain exits the European Union. Then it will either have to comply with the GDPR or data will have to migrate across the English channel.  
News
Former CISA Director Chris Krebs Discusses Risk Management & Threat Intel
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/23/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
Security + Fraud Protection: Your One-Two Punch Against Cyberattacks
Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5,  2/23/2021
News
Cybercrime Groups More Prolific, Focus on Healthcare in 2020
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/22/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Building the SOC of the Future
Building the SOC of the Future
Digital transformation, cloud-focused attacks, and a worldwide pandemic. The past year has changed the way business works and the way security teams operate. There is no going back.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-4931
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-24
IBM MQ 9.1 LTS, 9.2 LTS, and 9.1 CD AMQP Channels could allow an authenticated user to cause a denial of service due to an issue processing messages. IBM X-Force ID: 191747.
CVE-2020-11987
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-24
Apache Batik 1.13 is vulnerable to server-side request forgery, caused by improper input validation by the NodePickerPanel. By using a specially-crafted argument, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability to cause the underlying server to make arbitrary GET requests.
CVE-2020-11988
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-24
Apache XmlGraphics Commons 2.4 is vulnerable to server-side request forgery, caused by improper input validation by the XMPParser. By using a specially-crafted argument, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability to cause the underlying server to make arbitrary GET requests.
CVE-2021-21974
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-24
OpenSLP as used in ESXi (7.0 before ESXi70U1c-17325551, 6.7 before ESXi670-202102401-SG, 6.5 before ESXi650-202102101-SG) has a heap-overflow vulnerability. A malicious actor residing within the same network segment as ESXi who has access to port 427 may be able to trigger the heap-overflow issue in...
CVE-2021-22667
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-24
BB-ESWGP506-2SFP-T versions 1.01.09 and prior is vulnerable due to the use of hard-coded credentials, which may allow an attacker to gain unauthorized access and permit the execution of arbitrary code on the BB-ESWGP506-2SFP-T (versions 1.01.01 and prior).