3 GDPR compliance tips for small businesses

This week marks one year since the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) took effect, and although we’ve seen organisations take huge strides in their commitment to information security, many are still struggling to implement the necessary measures.

Small businesses have faced the biggest challenge, partly because they lack the resources to overhaul their processes and invest in compliance solutions. However, as we explain in this blog, regulatory compliance doesn’t have to cost a fortune – in fact, some of the most effective steps are relatively simple and inexpensive.

GDPR compliance is only difficult if you don’t understand what to do

The biggest blunders in data privacy (and the cause of many data breaches) comes from a basic lack of understanding of the GDPR’s requirements.

So what should you do?

  • Take an online GDPR foundation training course

Online training provides a practical demonstration of the implications and legal requirements of the GDPR for organisations.

  • Get a ‘how-to’ guide as a reference

We recommend you keep a guidebook handy, which you can refer to when considering prospective data processing activities.

  • Keep an eye out for GDPR-related news.

Now that the Regulation is in full swing, there will be more cases of regulatory breaches and assessments of the way organisations fell short of their compliance requirements. By learning from others’ mistakes, managers can get a better handle on the way the Regulation is interpreted and adapt their processes accordingly.

Teach your staff what they should and should not do

The next step is to make sure employees understand their data protection responsibilities. Most of your staff don’t need to be GDPR experts, as they don’t control the way data is used. However, they will almost certainly handle personal data or use systems that are designed to protect it.

As such, there are certain requirements that employees need to be familiar with. Organisations can ensure everyone has this knowledge by conducting staff awareness training.

  • Enrol your team on an e-learning course

The most convenient way to deliver this training is through an e-learning course, because everyone will be given the same comprehensive training, which they can take at a time and place that suits them. All the organisation needs to do is send a course link to their staff and make sure everyone completes it.

Likewise, the ease with which you can repeat courses makes e-learning ideal for training new starters, because you can simply direct them to the course rather than having to build GDPR training into their induction.

  • Place visual reminders in close proximity to staff

Office posters can ensure data protection and information security are at the forefront of your employees’ minds.

Document everything to highlight your compliance efforts

A big stumbling block for a lot of organisations is keeping a record of everything they have done to mitigate their risks. The GDPR requires organisations to not only implement the necessary technical and organisational measures but also provide written proof of what they’ve done and why.

This is so that organisations have better oversight of their data protection practices, which is helpful when it comes to reviewing their effectiveness. It also proves to supervisory authorities that the organisation is GDPR-compliant in the event of a regulatory investigation.

Producing this information requires expert long-term planning, as there are dozens of documents you need to create and maintain indefinitely.

Employees responsible for documentation must be aware of what each document needs to contain. This doesn’t necessarily mean being a GDPR expert, though, because documents templates can guide you through the process.

Try our GDPR game

Another great way to boost your staff awareness training programme is to approach lessons in a fun, engaging way. Our GDPR Challenge E-learning Game does just that, adding a competitive element to information security training.

Creating a fun experience for learners help them see training courses as less of a burden and makes it easier for you to encourage them to study.

So test your employees’ knowledge of the GDPR with this fun exercise. Complete with a leaderboard, you can see who has the bragging rights in your office.

Find out more

GDPR elearning game