UK GDPR consultancy services

When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in 2018, it impacted upon anyone managing the personal data of individuals based in the EU.

As non-compliance can lead to significant fines, GDPR consultancy is an important consideration when forging your business IT strategy and operations.

What are the requirements of GDPR?

Under the law, organisations must implement data protection measures against loss and exposure of consumers’ and employees’ personal data.

The requirements extend to all areas of data management and processing: from obtaining user consent to setting up data protection practices and dealing with data breaches.

Your business may be required to commit to certain actions, such as:

  • keeping detailed records of data processing operations
  • editing or deleting an individual’s data
  • selecting how data is processed to comply with customer permissions (e.g. sharing data with third parties).
Overlapping UK and EU flags indicating continuation of GDPR in UK law post-Brexit

GDPR and Brexit

Although GDPR was an EU regulation, and the UK has now left the EU, GDPR is retained in domestic law as UK GDPR.

UK GDPR operates alongside the Data Protection Act 2018 (as amended) and the key principles, rights and obligations remain the same.

While UK GDPR applies to the processing of UK residents’ personal data, your business may still need to comply with EU GDPR, which continues to apply to the processing of EU residents’ personal data. 

GDPR breaches

If you experience a data breach, you must notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) no later than 72 hours after becoming aware of it. Details of the breach must be provided, and the authorities will then decide whether the company should be fined.

UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 set a maximum fine of £17.5 million or 4 percent of annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

EU GDPR sets a maximum fine of €20 million (about £18 million) or 4 percent of annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

Other penalties include:

  • warnings and reprimands
  • a temporary or permanent ban on data processing
  • ordering the rectification, restriction, or erasure of data
  • suspending data transfers to ‘third’ countries

A sand timer counting down time limit for reporting a data breach

Why businesses need GDPR consultants

Certain organisations must appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). A DPO is an independent expert responsible for monitoring an organisation’s GDPR compliance practices.

You must appoint one if you:

  • are a public authority or body
  • regularly and systematically monitor data subjects
  • process special categories of data on a large scale

Even if you don’t have to appoint a DPO, you may find that you and your employees do not have the required expertise nor time to monitor and revise your data protection procedures and provide any necessary training.

Hiring a GDPR consultant is a cost-effective way to ensure compliance, filling the gap between a full-time employee dedicated to the task and managing it all between your staff.

What do UK GDPR consultancy services include?

Although a GDPR consultant is there to ensure legal compliance (ensuring you avoid large fines and enjoy peace of mind), GDPR is also about building trust with customers and protecting your professional reputation.

As every business is different, the consultant should ensure your approach to UK GDPR is tailored to meet both your business objectives, strategic IT aims, and legal obligations.

UK GDPR audit

When you outsource GDPR management to a consultant, you would normally expect them to carry out a full evaluation of your current GDPR (and general business) practices and policies for compliance.

An audit should involve a full assessment of all areas of your data protection controls, including data handling and collection, data storage and data processing.

GDPR compliance strategy and implementation

With a clear understanding of existing GDPR practices, your consultant should map out what must be done to ensure ongoing compliance while enabling you to meet your business goals.

This may require a complete revamp: establishing a clear GDPR framework, updating your IT infrastructure, or liaising with the legal team to ensure your policies are up to date.

Of course, making sure your network security is adequate should also be a part of this evaluation and subsequent action plan.

 A GDPR consultant performing an audit in an office

Staff training

Your staff must understand your compliance procedures and work in accordance with GDPR best practice.

A GDPR consultant is well placed to provide staff training where required.

Ongoing monitoring

GDPR is not static, and neither is your business. It’s important to keep your procedures and policies under regular review, updating IT when needed and ensuring staff continue to operate in a way that is compliant. A consultant can ensure that this happens.

Outsourcing to a professional GDPR consultant

At Micro Maintenance, our IBITG-qualified GDPR practitioners are ready and able to assist your business with resolving its data compliance issues, and to help create the procedures and policies needed for your business to remain compliant and trustworthy.

To find out more about our UK GDPR consultancy services, get in touch today.

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