Pivotal Role of IT as Enforcer for GDPR Compliance

Pallavi Varanasi Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • November 24th, 2020

Role of IT in Achieving GDPR Compliance

When enterprises need to achieve compliance, it is time for IT to get tough. It is not enough if the employees are trained for security; the role of the IT department is to take the onus for improving the data security through policy enforcement and processes that will put the enterprise in the least danger zone. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act has come into enforcement and this will mean serious non-compliance ramifications for the enterprises. It is mandatory for enterprises dealing with the European country’s citizens’ personal data to be GDPR compliant and this can be achieved when the role of the IT department does something concrete.

3 Stages in the GDPR Compliance Process

  • Audit Stage: This deals with the data flowing between the user and cloud services, and between the enterprise and the cloud services. Here, the enterprises have to segregate the data as per their security priority and see which is to be migrated to the cloud. The IT department has to have full knowledge about the data whereabouts, and why & when it is being transferred to & how. An inventory should be done on the log data and this is necessary for achieving compliance.
  • Rationalization Stage: In this stage, the role of the IT department has to see the apps that can be accessed by the user and which are sensitive ones that require only authorized access. This is a non-intrusive stage since it doesn’t affect how people work.
  • Enforcement Stage: Here, the IT department monitors the data and prevents access to the cloud service, which doesn’t meet the GDPR criteria. The IT has to examine the direct connections between users and the cloud services and how compliance can be achieved from these.

CASB Solutions and Its Importance in Achieving GDPR Compliance

The CASB solutions provided by eminent Cloud Access Security Brokers effectively sit between the user and the cloud service monitoring the traffic to and fro from the applications. Using CASB solutions, the IT services can get involved in the user activities thus gaining a far more granular picture in the process. IT can inspect details of users in the log data like upload, download, edit, share, and create. Thus, IT will have enough information to block/delete the offending services.

Role of IT as a Gatekeeper to Achieve GDPR Compliance

The IT sits in-line between the user and the cloud and can inspect the user activities that don’t meet the GDPR criteria. Real-time data monitoring is possible and the IT can examine the type of data involved and if it can influence decisions. Thus, if there is any access to Personally Identifiable Information (PII), then it can be safeguarded by appropriate security measures. By using DLP (Data Loss Prevention) tools, the IT can enforce GDPR-specific policies that will trigger the right action. The DLP tool will examine the data that is being accessed and ascertain whether the cloud service has a data processing agreement (DPA) in place for its access. If the IT notices any suspicious activity like a data request from a device that is not provisioned by the enterprise, then it can block the request because of the unknown device security status. Also, if the device location is unknown and it does not tally with the user’s location, then also the IT can block/delete the request. Even though these steps might be tough, it is needed as it is the only option if the enterprise has to be GDPR-compliant. The other intelligent options available to restrict unauthorized access include quarantining the data, putting the request on hold, or running a malware check before processing the request. It can also train genuine users to stay away from potentially risky behaviors when accessing sensitive data. The use of inline, real-time security policies helps the enterprises to achieve GDPR compliance for a cloud environment. IT helps enterprises to effectively deal with data requests thereby avoiding data breaches and the potential for a huge fine. CASB solutions help the IT staff a great deal to reduce their workloads by their customized preset templates for data security.

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