Stay Ahead of the Curve: 5 Essential Steps to Achieve GDPR Compliance

    skycentral.co.uk | Stay Ahead of the Curve: 5 Essential Steps to Achieve GDPR Compliance


    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has taken the global business landscape by storm since its implementation in May 2018. This European Union (EU) regulation has far-reaching implications for organizations that collect, process, and store personal data of EU citizens. Non-compliance with GDPR can lead to severe penalties, which is why it is crucial for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and achieve GDPR compliance. In this article, we will outline five essential steps that will help organizations navigate the path towards GDPR compliance effectively.

    Step 1: Understand the Scope of GDPR

    The first step towards achieving GDPR compliance is to have a clear understanding of the regulation’s scope and how it affects your organization. GDPR applies to all businesses that handle personal data of EU citizens, regardless of their location. This means that even if your organization is based outside the EU, you must comply with GDPR if you process personal data of EU citizens. Familiarize yourself with the key principles and provisions of GDPR to ensure you know what is expected of your organization.

    Step 2: Conduct a Data Audit

    Before you can become GDPR compliant, you need to know what personal data you collect, process, and store. Conducting a comprehensive data audit is crucial as it helps you identify any potential gaps in your data protection practices and understand the scope of personal data processing within your organization. The data audit should cover all aspects, including the types of personal data collected, the purpose of processing, the way it is stored and accessed, and any third-party involvement. This step will help you determine the necessary measures to take to protect personal data and ensure compliance.

    Step 3: Review and Update Privacy Policies

    Reviewing and updating your privacy policies is a critical step towards GDPR compliance. Your privacy policies must be clear, transparent, and easily accessible to individuals whose personal data you process. They should inform individuals about the purpose of data processing, how long you will retain their data, and their rights regarding their personal data. GDPR also requires organizations to obtain explicit consent from individuals before processing their personal data. This consent must be freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous. Ensure your privacy policies are updated to reflect these requirements and obtain proper consent from individuals.

    Step 4: Implement Internal Policies and Procedures

    Achieving GDPR compliance requires the implementation of robust internal policies and procedures to safeguard personal data. This includes appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO) if necessary, establishing processes for handling data breaches, conducting Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs), and ensuring staff training on data protection practices. Regularly reviewing and updating these policies and procedures is essential to adapt to any changes in your organization’s data processing activities or external regulatory requirements.

    Step 5: Ensure Security Measures and International Data Transfers

    GDPR emphasizes the importance of implementing appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data. Encryption, access controls, pseudonymization, and regular data backups are examples of security measures that can help protect personal data against unauthorized access and breaches. Additionally, if your organization transfers personal data outside the EU, ensure that the country or recipient has an adequate level of data protection or implement appropriate safeguards, such as Standard Contractual Clauses or Binding Corporate Rules.


    GDPR compliance is not an option but a necessity for organizations worldwide. By following these five essential steps, businesses can position themselves ahead of the curve and ensure they meet the requirements set by GDPR. It is crucial to stay updated with any changes or updates to GDPR and continuously assess your organization’s data protection practices to maintain compliance. Remember, GDPR compliance is an ongoing process, and staying proactive will help you protect personal data, gain trust from individuals, and avoid hefty penalties.