General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has become a landmark bill for data protection laws across the globe.
It includes a comprehensive set of rules that have been created to tackle modern challenges related to data protection and privacy.
The unique nature and approach of the regulation not only makes it effective but also compels businesses to learn how to deal with this new regulatory environment.
It also encourages businesses on how to avoid attracting any fines or other sanctions.
And businesses have been given substantial time to ensure that.
More about time and historical context of the law
On 14th April 2016, the governments across the EU approved GDPR. It was an extensive list of regulations that would monitor and regulate the flow of personal data of the EU residents in and out of organisations.
25th May 2018 was set as the date of enforcement of the law.
This gave organisations a good 2-year period to prepare and implement their processes to be compliant with GDPR.
A big part of this sea change in how organisations implement GDPR training to the relevant departments and staff.
It is important for the members of the organisations at all levels to be aware of the laws in place, how their roles will evolve as the rules change, and how they can stay relevant in this new business environment.
Only an introduction to the GDPR is not enough; they should have extensive knowledge of the regulation and its application.
Who should undertake a training in GDPR?
Any and every business that deals with the personal data of the EU residents should understand the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) inside out. This applies to organisations headquartered both outside and inside of the EU.
The people responsible for implementing the GDPR related changes should understand the purpose of the regulation. However, it is not just the IT department or the top management that is directly dealing with the personal data that should be aware of the regulations and all its details.
All employees of the organisation that have anything to do with the storage and processing of personal data in any form should undertake GDPR staff training courses.
GDPR training is important so that they do not make one silly mistake that snowballs into a fine worth millions of Euros.
Employees should have complete clarity over what information falls under the GDPR domain. They should have comprehensive knowledge about the obligations of the data controller.
Furthermore, they must know how to implement the processes in compliance with the GDPR requirements. All employees must have a full understanding of the rights of the data subjects under the regulation, and so on.
The proper GDPR training course provides all this information to the employees so that they are ready for the new regulatory environment.
Why is there a need for GDPR training?
It is clearly stated in the GDPR document that organisations should take all the ‘technical and organisational’ measures to ensure compliance. GDPR training falls well under that category.
Employees have to understand the monetary costs as well as the reputational loss that the organisations may have to bear as a consequence of their actions.
Apart from this, there are multiple reasons for organisations to undertake GDPR training efforts seriously:
✓ Of course, the fines!
The first and foremost reason for most organisations to implement a GDPR training course are the hefty fines and stringent fines that can come to haunt them if they are found infringing on any regulations under the GDPR.
Depending on the gravity of the infringement, an organisation can be charged a fine of upto €20 million or 4% of the global turnover, whichever is higher. These are not small numbers.
A fine like this may mean the end of a medium-sized business. This alone makes GDPR training more than worth it.
Apart from this, a breach of the law can also attract several sanctions from the supervisory authority.
Remember that an organisation can be slapped with both a fine and a penalty. Now, sanctions under GDPR can be mild to severe.
Organisations may be reprimanded for their tardiness, which then goes on their record; they can be temporarily banned from sending or receiving data from foreign countries; they can even be punished by rescinding their permission to store and/or process data.
Whatever the case is, GDPR training will minimise the probability of an organisation finding itself on the receiving end of such fines and sanctions.
✓ Only compliant processes cannot furnish results
To comply with GDPR, putting the right processes in place is a necessity for businesses in the EU. However, establishing the right processes is not enough. Organisations need to have staff that has undergone proper GDPR training to make those processes work.
If the processes are completely secure and compliant with GDPR, but the staff using these processes have no idea how to deal with the personal data at hand, the end result can be disastrous.
Not only that, but organisations also have to cover all bases to avoid the fines – processes and people. They cannot let something as basic as a human error cost them enormous fines and loss of reputation.
✓A strong case for defence
If you are aware of how the regulatory authorities are going to levy fines on flouting GDPR laws, then you must know that they take action based on the typical nature of the cases. They analyse the situation to understand what the level of preparedness was?
They pay heed to the fact that the organisation has taken all the necessary measures to safeguard the data.
Law enforcing agents will then understand that the data breach under investigation happened despite the safeguards in place, which makes a strong case for the organisation.
GDPR training will be a critical factor that can help organisations if they ever find themselves in that position. Trained staff prepped for a data breach is a brownie point in favour of the organisation, for sure.
✓ Stay ahead of the breaches
While external audits and software solutions can help your organisation ensure that you stay GDPR compliant, there is no replacement for GDPR training of the staff.
If the staff is not trained to be compliant with the GDPR laws, then organisations will find themselves running into sanctions and fines, time and again.
Trained employees are not only more careful and mindful of the GDPR compliance requirements, but they also serve as a failsafe mechanism for the organisation.
Employees can identify areas where there is a security gap or a possibility of infringement and raise a flag. This gives the organisation time to deal with the situation before it escalates into something big.
Your staff can only recognise such issues when they have a proper understanding of what the new regulation is all about. That is precisely what GDPR training offers them.
What should GDPR training include?
GDPR training for the employees should not only help them understand what GDPR is all about but also educate them on how to behave under a GDPR regime to ensure the security of data and privacy.
They should have useful information that they can use whenever they are faced with certain situations in their regular workday.
✓ Securing personal information
The employees should know that they will have to start inculcating secure habits in order to keep the personal data safe that they deal with on a daily basis.
The employees need to learn about safety practices like creating safe passwords, locking computers when unattended, destroying confidential information when dumping it, being wary of opening emails from an unknown email address, and more.
The staff should understand that small steps such as these go a long way.
✓ Storing relevant data
The GDPR training will also shed light on how the employees should deal with the personal data of the data subjects.
Employees should only use or have access to information that is relevant to the purpose of the business and delete a