How GDPR can help protect your business reputation

Author: Thomas Bröker

Posted on December 6, 2018

In this age of data leaks, hacking, and security breaches, your business reputation increasingly depends on your ability to protect your customers’ online privacy. So how do you make sure your customer data stays safe? The GDPR is a great place to start.

Data leaks make headlines

As we’ve learned from recent headlines, even tech giants like Google and Facebook are not immune to data leaks. Privacy and data protection are more important than ever, especially for companies whose core business involves sensitive information such as their customers’ health or finances. In the Netherlands, recruitment agency Randstad was horrified to discover a leak that exposed the names, contact details, and salary requirements of some of their jobseekers online, leaving the victims vulnerable to identity fraud. And that’s just one example - any industry can be affected; recently we’ve also seen the medical details of children and contact details of festival visitors exposed.

What is the GDPR?

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR for short) was adopted to protect online consumers’ right to privacy. It requires any company with clients or employees in the EU to meet a set of stringent privacy and data protection standards. The regulation is based on four fundamental principles:

  • Protection (personal data should be well-protected)
  • Transparency (the user must know what their data is used for)
  • Minimization (only data that is used for legitimate business purposes can be kept)
  • Free movement (the user must be able to control, view, delete or export their data)

Find out more about the GDPR for the insurance industry here.

The risks of noncompliance

Businesses that do not comply with the GDPR face hefty fines: up to 4% of their global annual turnover or € 20 million. In addition, the negative publicity generated by a fine may mark the company as unreliable or incompetent when it comes to protecting their customers’ privacy. This can have far-reaching consequences for the business brand and its relationship with its customers. In a competitive market, a data protection scare can send your customers running for the hills and into the waiting arms of your competitors.

Protecting your data and your reputation

Risks of data leaks typically arise because of the organic and sometimes haphazard way companies deal with data. By its very nature, the GDPR forces companies to become more informed, concerned, and pro-active about data protection. Companies that follow its requirements have made conscious decisions about the way they deal with data, how it is gathered, where it is kept, and what it is used for. This makes it easier to identify any potential threats to your data security, so you can prevent leaks and breaches.

Making that organization-wide shift

How did data management evolve in your organization? Do you have centralized insight and control over your data at all times? Legacy systems, corporate silos, and third-party software may all be obstacles to implementing the four principles of the GDPR. Fixing this requires a company-wide shift. Everyone must work together to create centralized processes and policies for data management. A solid CIAM system is a great tool to achieve this.

Onegini can help

Onegini offers a fully GDPR-ready CIAM platform: Onegini Connect. With its near-endless software integrations, it will slot into your organization without disturbing your existing systems. Once in place, Onegini Connect allows you to streamline your data management and other internal processes. Most importantly, it offers banking-grade security for you and your end users while improving their customer experience in the process.

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