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How complying with an EU regulation may benefit American companies

Since 2018, European companies have had to comply with a set of enhanced data security and compliance standards known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This requires businesses that manage personally identifiable information to adopt specific measures aimed at protecting and securing that data.

Your U.S.-based business may never target residents of the European Union, but upgrading to GDPR-compliant software could strengthen your client relations and ensure compliance with U.S.  requirements — such as California’s Privacy Rights Act, Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act, Colorado’s Colorado Privacy Act, and the Utah Consumer Privacy Act.

Ensuring data compliance now will also make it easier to comply with future regulations. This will help you avoid spending a lot of money, since privacy regulations often have similar requirements. And GDPR-compliant software automates many compliance processes, which can save your team significant time and effort. These tools can help with such tasks as consent management, data subject access requests, and data breach notification.

Software that is GDPR-compliant focuses on keeping data secure with encryption and access, and other controls. Considering recent costly data breaches, this kind of increased security can be critical. Using advanced data protection technologies and procedures can also help improve business continuity, so you can recover critical systems and restore operations quickly after a data breach. Implementing GDPR-level measures will make it easier to bounce back from any potential setbacks.

Following GDPR rules will help also businesses manage data better, since it requires companies to be clear about the data they collect, where it is stored, and how it is used. This kind of improved data management provides a comprehensive overview of the data environment, resulting in better organized and efficient information governance procedures.

An experienced provider can help your company comply with GDPR by:

  • Working to help you understand where your company’s data comes from, increasing your knowledge of the data stored in your digital presence, and determining who can access this data.
  • Helping you create policies and procedures that ensure personal data will be handled appropriately based on what is collected and how it is used.
  • Helping you to properly inform your customers why their data is being processed and obtaining appropriate consent from them.
  • Assisting you with implementing data protection agreements with your vendors, to ensure they have the appropriate level of protection over your consumers’ data.
  • Determining if your company needs a data protection officer.
  • Reviewing data breach protocols.
  • Determining solutions that will help you become and stay compliant, including obtaining consent management, implementing data subject rights request management, developing vendor risk tools, and gaining a better understanding of privacy law monitoring.

Companies that comply with GDPR demonstrate to regulators, customers and partners that they take data protection seriously and are responsible data stewards. By following GDPR rules, your brand can stand out as being more trustworthy than competitors who do not meet these high standards.

Using software that follows GDPR rules is a great choice for U.S. companies, since it allows for better data management and helps build trust with customers in the U.S. and abroad. Trained Cyber Security and information governance professionals can help you evaluate software options and achieve GDPR compliance.

Carl Mazzanti is president of Mazzanti Technologies, providing IT Consulting and Cyber Security Services for businesses.