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The Loving Relationship Between Risk Analysis & GDPR

May 16, 2018 Luna Shirley 2 min read

By going through our GDPR audit and the follow-up certification process, we’ve more than ever realized how important role the risk analysis plays and our feeling was further confirmed by discussing GDPR compliance with our customers.

Some of them were doing their best to become compliant, yet they’ve struggled with grasping even the most basic concepts of GDPR at first. Looking back, this denial happened because GDPR compliance was being demonized as near impossible, although we thought that as well at first.

This all started to change when we’ve helped our customers to understand that the essence of GDPR is respecting their clients and making sure that their data is safe with them. The point, in reality is actually this obvious.

And when you have a long look at GDPR, you will also realize that in its essence lie two overarching perspectives.

The questions they ask are:

  • How secure you are?
  • Do you use customers’ data in their best interest?

By understanding these principles, it becomes much easier to introduce GDPR compliant way of thinking into your current processes.

It will help you to make sure that whatever you do from now on will adhere to GDPR standards or even go well beyond them quite naturally. GDPR will stop being an ever-present topic to solve, but it will turn into a process that you will naturally observe.

Risk analysis or, as it’s sometimes called, risk assessment is a method of evaluating and managing various risk factors which could negatively influence the project or any other area of business.

It helps managers to define the probability of something going wrong and specifies an impact when it does. Since some risks may be difficult to spot and even harder to manage, it’s imperative to prepare for them in advance and minimize the chance of them happening.

Risk analysis enables leading projects towards their successful end by having a contingency plan and a budget for any identified risk occuring in place as well as knowing the probability and impact of identified risk.
This sounds a lot like the underlying principles of GDPR, doesn’t it?

It’s About Equilibrium

The third and final aspect that you need to manage during your journey towards GDPR compliance is balancing requirements from your legal team and virtually the rest of the company.

From legal point of view, it’s quite easy to say that you need to have consents for every single purpose and you can’t keep any records of your customers’ activities for longer than 3 months, but being so strict would decimate any business.

The hard truth of the matter is that lawyers aren’t necessary business savvy and as such they will more often than not recommend the most compliant safe way even though it may be overreacting.

In the end it’s about finding the optimal balance between legal requirements, which in essence, aren’t necessarily so strict and your business needs.

So Remember

Before we move on towards practical examples how to apply risk analysis to get GDPR compliant, be sure to remember the following:
The point is:

  • Respecting your clients and making sure that their data is safe

Perspectives are:

  • How secure are you?
  • Do you use data subjects’ data in their best interest?

Requirements to balance:

  • Legal compliance
  • Business needs

Risk analysis prepares you for GDPR by:

  • Providing you with a methodology for managing security risks
  • Helping to prepare appropriate measures and safeguards
  • Laying groundwork for legitimate interest assessment
  • Preparing your for data protection impact assessment

The First Emergency Kit - GDPR Risk Analysis

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