Data is the new “gold” and therefore you should protect it

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Do not panic on account of  the new EU data privacy regulations – but get started now…!

To many companies, the demands of the new EU data regulation may seem overwhelming. But if you use a structured approach this is a good medicine against GDPR data-panic.

In less than a year, the new regulation in the EU-GDPR will be valid. Many companies are still reluctant and doubtful about what they should do to be compliant with the rules in the regulations – and at what price?

Some weeks ago, I had the pleasure to participate in some events explaining how IBM Systems and how our products can support customer activities, in the effort to close GDPR compliance gaps. My experience was that less than 10% of the audience, representing + 100 companies, had started GDPR activities.

The Deadline is getting closer – but don’t panic, be structured ! A first step is communicating how and where a company’s employees can find information’s about the new regulations.

If you are working in a cargo company there are rules for handling a truck with a trailer. Likewise, everyone should know that there are rules on how to store and handle personal data – data privacy. We need to know there are rules and where we can go to learn about them.

This is the reason why it is so important that the employees in a company learn the principles of GDPR. If this knowledge is kept within an exclusive small group of employees, privacy protection will not be a part of the company’s culture.

Everybody needs to understand that focus on and protection of privacy data is an important area for the wellbeing of a business. This is one of the reasons why it is so important that management will support and prioritize GDPR activities.

The dream scenario is that you routinely analyse the consequences of handling private data, both when changing a system or by introducing new services.

Of course, it may look difficult how to understand all the rules in the regulation and to decide where to start. A first step could be a data assessment to decide what data is necessary and relevant for your business, what are you allowed to use the data for, and how, where and for how long is it stored.

Do you actually store data that is actually unnecessary, data that you are not allowed to keep after the 25. May 2018?

Make a policy for handling data. Describe also security measures  such as access control, encryption and pseudonymizing.

The regulation is very much the same as we have seen  the banking and pharma industry, for example, where companies must be compliant with strict guidelines and policies.

With all the possibilities we have today using computing power such as Watson and Cognitive data management, it is about time for this change given the present rules are from 1995.

Data is the new gold, and traditionally companies have collected data from many different sources. With the right tools and techniques, it is possible today to combine this data in many valuable ways. It is therefore important to ensure that companies have the right customer consent and a valid consent as well as the data, the new gold, being stored in a very safe way.

Learn more and read GDPR enforcement is less than a year away and IBM Little Bee book: GDPR – how it works.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to e-mail me at


Systems Consulting - Infrastructure & IT Service Management

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