When you own a business, there’s a high chance that you’ll be dealing with sensitive and personal information. Whether that be of your employees, clients or customers, looking after and keeping this information safe is absolutely vital and it is essential that you follow specific and particular data protection regulations as a part of SME data protection.
Understanding GDPR and the significance of being compliant with SME data protection can seem like a big and significant task, but whether you’re new to business or are familiar with the necessities required, being aware of the procedures needed when handling data is important should you want to avoid fines, reputational damage or falling victim to a cyber attack.
When it comes to SME data protection, you might not think that GDPR affects businesses of all sizes, but the truth is that you will, as a business, likely handle personal data of all sorts. As part of your cyber security defences, you’re best knowing and understanding how personal data is used and stored within your business and whether or not this contributes to any cyber weaknesses within your business. Let’s take a look at what you need to know when it comes to SME data protection and how to apply GDPR compliance to your business.
What Does SME Data Protection Mean?
SME data protection, or GDPR, is a set of regulations which companies and organisations need to adhere to in regard to the way in which they collect and store personal data about customers, clients or employees. If businesses end up breaching GDPR rules, then they may face a substantial fine. SME data protection and GDPR is relevant to countries within the EU, but it no longer applies to the UK since leaving the EU in January 2020.
UK businesses now need to follow newly created regulations, SME data protection and GDPR rules, which are made up of smaller regulations and you may need to comply with both UK GDPR and EU GDPR if your business operates in Europe, or if you offer goods or services within Europe. Following SME data protection and GDPR guidelines means that your data is likely to be more protected.
When it comes to protecting data, you want to make sure that your SME is secure from potential data breaches and cyber crimes. It is, unfortunately, no longer an instance of if your business will be attacked, but simply when, no matter your business size. Whilst a lot of companies are well-protected against cyber threats, a lot of cyber criminals target small and medium sized business as they believe that these businesses are easier to target. This is why SME data protection is so important, as it can help keep sensitive information and documents secure.
Data Protection For Your Business
If you’re wondering how to best deal with and protect personal data within your business, one of the things you should consider is how frequently does your business deal with personal data. Of course, this includes your current customer or client data, but have you considered additionals such as past and present employee details or supplier and provider data?
If you are regularly collecting this type of information, then you need to ensure that you are following relevant GDPR and SME data protection. Is this information stored on a spreadsheet or a document? Is this document able to be edited or accessed by multiple people within the business? Can it be accessed from your computer or mobile device, or both? Is this data stored in the cloud when offline? These questions apply to both manual data collection and any automated data captures you have in place on your website.
As an SME, data protection is your responsibility and you must follow the law when handling personal data. This can help demonstrate to both future and present customers and clients that you are doing everything you can to protect their data from being stolen, damaged, lost or shared.
Collecting Data For Your Business
If collecting data, then you need to ensure that you are being transparent about how it is being used and stored. On data collection forms, in email footers or in the terms and conditions on your website, you should outline a written consent request for this data, which should include:
- Business Details – your business/company name and names of those who may be using the data.
- Your Purposes For Collecting The Data – How and why will you be using the data collected?
- A Consent Withdrawal Notice – Those who leave their details and information should be aware that they can withdraw their consent at any time.
You also need to ensure that your data forms are compliant. Evaluate the ways in which you ask for people’s data and assess that you are asking in a consensual and lawful way in order to comply with GDPR and SME data protection. One of the easiest ways to structure GDPR-compliant data collection is to use opt-in choices on data forms, such as:
- Tick boxes
- Providing yes/no options
- Opt-in buttons
No matter which method you choose, the answers provided for the answers given to questions provided must be unambiguous.
How CYFOR Secure Can Manage SME Data Protection
With SME data protection, a large proportion of this protection comes from having a proactive cyber security plan in place. Ensuring your cyber security plan is well managed and in place then helps to protect your business against cyber threats and attacks whilst also mitigating the risk and disruption to your business in the event that your business experiences an attack.
At CYFOR Secure, our team are best placed to regularly review and analyse your business, ensuring you’re following guidelines in regards to GDPR and SME data protection. For more information on our managed cyber security services, contact us today!