Compliance with data protection regulation is often seen as a bane of the IT department's life, so it's no surprise that efforts are sometimes focused solely on meeting the minimum legal requirement as quickly and easily as possible.
Regulations can feel like barriers that get in the way of doing business, but there are benefits of creating a data privacy culture that go far beyond compliance.
So, apart from avoiding legal repercussions and fines – which could be up to 4% of global annual turnover once the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes in – what other benefits might businesses expect?
1. A data privacy culture gives you a competitive advantage
When choosing which businesses to deal with, customers increasingly want to know their data is in safe hands.
Full transparency around the data you collect, what it will be used for and how customers can control it will be one of the core requirements of the GDPR, and customers will look elsewhere if businesses don't win their trust.
By being one of the first to implement a transparent data privacy culture, you could make the difference between which leads to a potential customer choosing you rather than a competitor.
2. You will (by necessity) develop a better understanding of how your data is used
To be transparent around how your business processes data, you need to have develop an in-depth understanding, including identifying every point at which data is captured, where it is stored, how it is accessed, and how it is destroyed.
Getting to grips with all of this may require initial effort in defining and redefining processes as well as employee training, but will pay dividends in the long run.
Better organised, more centralised and more accurate data makes streamlining processes and meaningful analysis possible and far more straightforward that if your data culture is a free for all.
3. Good data handling builds trust among employees
One of the main focuses of the GDPR is to empower consumers regarding the data businesses hold on them, and the discussion around this has increased widespread awareness of data privacy issues.
Data privacy has therefore become as much an ethical issue for your employees as a legal one. They'll want to know the business they're working for respects the privacy of consumers in the way they want demand their own privacy is respected by companies they purchase from.
Implementing a data privacy culture will therefore make your best employees more proud to work for you – and more likely to stay.
4. Your business will be more secure
Though it can sometimes feel like it, data protection regulation doesn't serve solely to meet the best interests of consumers. Compliant businesses are protected in equal measure, and implementing a data privacy culture makes businesses far less vulnerable to cybercrime.
Why? Because all of the processes, policies and training required in creating a data privacy culture strengthen the biggest data liability in your business: your employees. The vast majority of data breaches are caused by individual errors, some of which are unforced, and some the result of hackers exploiting the naivety of employees through techniques like phishing and social engineering.
Embedding a data privacy culture is the surest way to secure your business against these threats at the same time as complying with data protection regulation.
How DeltaNet can help
Our Compliance Essentials Suite is a cost effective training solution for creating a data privacy culture. Compliance Essentials includes a number of information governance eLearning courses covering data protection legislation, records management and information security.
Compliance Essentials also includes delivery through our Astute eLearning Platform and all courses are regularly updated to reflect changes in legislation and best practice at no extra cost - so when the General Data Protection Regulation is in place, subscribers will not need to budget for additional training.