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.

Operational Security //

Compliance

2/27/2018
09:35 AM
Dawn Kawamoto
Dawn Kawamoto
Dawn Kawamoto
50%
50%

4 Steps to Make Your Website GDPR Compliant

Three months remain to whip your website into shape before the May 25 GDPR compliance deadline. Here are several steps to help you get there.

Websites operated by mom-and-pop businesses to large corporate titans face a looming deadline to comply with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) if they collect, store or distribute personally identifiable information of EU citizens.

While a number of US-based companies may believe the EU's GDPR requirement does not apply to them -- think again, and fast. The deadline to adhere to the regulation is May 25 and may come with steep fines for non-compliance.

And what is the purpose of the GDPR as it relates to websites?

"It's all about transparency of communication regarding how the website and company will use the data in question and making sure that they clearly state what the rights of the individual are relating to accessing, objecting, and ultimately, removing the data that has been collected by the organization," Rick Hemsley, managing director of Accenture Security, told Security Now.

Common missteps in GDPR website compliance
Although the GDPR compliance deadline has not hit, the Data Privacy Act of 1998 serves as a yardstick in terms of common missteps companies may encounter in trying to comply with the GDPR, Hemsley said.

"It is likely that most organizations will stumble on their ability to provide access to data and their ability to delete it either when legitimately asked to by the customer or when it falls out of retention," he explains.

Another challenging area for companies includes the way that they communicate clearly with customers regarding their privacy policies. Under the GDPR, the information is required to be clear and designed for the average lay person to understand, rather than written in "legalese," Hemsley added.

Companies will need to learn to strike a balance between clear and concise privacy policy language and legally protecting themselves.

GDPR website compliance steps
Under GDPR, there are several key steps website operators need to take to be compliant with the regulations, Enza Iannopollo, a security and risk analyst for Forrester, told Security Now.

Here are the four steps businesses should take:

  • First step: Review and identify all the personal customer information that you and your third-party partners collect and store on your website and distribute. For example, what information are you collecting and are you and your third-party partners asking permission to collect this information?
  • Second step: Understand what processes are needed to be built into the way your customer uses your website and the risks they may pose. Iannopollo strongly suggests website operators think about the "journey" customers take as they enter and move about and through the website. "Think about the customer and when does it make sense to ask them for their permissions, keeping in mind you need their permission before you collect the data you are seeking," Iannopollo says. And she noted that some websites are addressing the disclosure issue by providing links that allow a user to drill down into as much information as they are seeking about a company's privacy policy, rather than having pages upon pages of information for them to wade through on the site.
  • Third step:Talk to your attorneys to help identify the risks and ensure your processes comply with GDPR, as well as work with your tech team to build the needed safeguards to collect the data, evaluate it and remove it.
  • Fourth step: Remove personally identifiable information after its intended and customer-approved use. This step can be accomplished by either deleting the information or masking it, so it is anonymous but can still be used for aggregation purposes. "Data is not only an asset, but it is also a liability," Iannopollo said.

Hemsley agrees with Iannopollo on that assessment about data and further adds:

GDPR presents a real opportunity for organizations to drive data efficiencies throughout their organization. Organizations will be shedding data that they don't need, don't have a right to hold, and ultimately, costs them money to store. By removing unnecessary data, organizations not only increase operational and processing efficiency, but they save money, and, if they get it right, engender greater trust with their customer base which can be translated into more profitable and active customers.

Related posts:

— Dawn Kawamoto is an award-winning technology and business journalist, whose work has appeared in CNET's News.com, Dark Reading, TheStreet.com, AOL's DailyFinance, and The Motley Fool.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/14/2020
Lock-Pickers Face an Uncertain Future Online
Seth Rosenblatt, Contributing Writer,  8/10/2020
Hacking It as a CISO: Advice for Security Leadership
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/10/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 New Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities That Could Put Your Enterprise at Risk
In this Dark Reading Tech Digest, we look at the ways security researchers and ethical hackers find critical vulnerabilities and offer insights into how you can fix them before attackers can exploit them.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-17475
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-14
Lack of authentication in the network relays used in MEGVII Koala 2.9.1-c3s allows attackers to grant physical access to anyone by sending packet data to UDP port 5000.
CVE-2020-0255
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-14
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: CVE-2020-10751. Reason: This candidate is a duplicate of CVE-2020-10751. Notes: All CVE users should reference CVE-2020-10751 instead of this candidate. All references and descriptions in this candidate have been removed to prevent accidenta...
CVE-2020-14353
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-14
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: CVE-2017-18270. Reason: This candidate is a duplicate of CVE-2017-18270. Notes: All CVE users should reference CVE-2017-18270 instead of this candidate. All references and descriptions in this candidate have been removed to prevent accidenta...
CVE-2020-17464
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-14
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Further investigation showed that it was not a security issue. Notes: none.
CVE-2020-17473
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-14
Lack of mutual authentication in ZKTeco FaceDepot 7B 1.0.213 and ZKBiosecurity Server 1.0.0_20190723 allows an attacker to obtain a long-lasting token by impersonating the server.