What Microsoft can do to help protect your data

The boom in technology over the past decade has caused major upheavals in how businesses and the public sectors operate. The ability to accumulate mass amounts of data have motivated business and government agencies to rush to gather personal information on citizens. While some entities have good intentions for how this information is used, there is a dark side in which information has been used to manipulate the masses and gain profit.

The race to gather consumer information has resembled the wild west, with insufficient regulations in place to protect the citizens. However, with the spotlight on recent instances of data being exploited, agencies over the world have come under pressure to reform the laws.

GDPR is a complicated machine

On May 25th 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced as a way to restrict how government entities and businesses can use the data collected on individuals.

In full, there are over 100 articles stating the rights of individuals, and obligations placed on organizations. These include permitting people to have quick access to the information companies have about them, and a responsibility for organizations to get the consent of people they’re collecting information on.

Internally, companies are also required to have clear and complex protocols that lay out how that data is stored, handled, documented, and protected from data breaches. As added incentive, fines have been increased to help motivate entities to stay in compliance.

With such strict and expensive regulations in place, it’s crucial that business and public entities conform to the new framework, and take the new laws seriously.

An example has been made of Facebook, who has been fined GBP 500,000 for failing to protect user data. Luckily for Facebook these fines were issued under the old privacy laws, and would have amounted to GBP 1.2bn under the new GDPR.

More recently, tech giants Google, Apple, Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon have all been accused of breaking GDPR, and are looking at fines in the billions if it’s proven they weren’t in compliance.

The best way to continuously comply with GDPR

With big companies being the first to be called out, it’s important that businesses of all sizes have well organized GDPR strategies in place. This cannot be simply managed by hand, systems are needed that can help manage the documentation necessary in order to stay within the law.

Startups might choose to not put much effort into data protection in the beginning, but as business grows and data collection begins, having a plan in place and knowing exactly what is needed will be worth the work to avoid expensive fines.

Microsoft’s approach to GDPR

Companies such as Microsoft have numerous systems and resources in place that help manage what’s needed to follow the GDPR. Microsoft has even taken great strides to offer GDPR assistance in their cloud-based services. Compliance with GDPR is an ongoing process and responsibility. Microsoft offers a four-step approach to complying with GDPR:

  • Discover – Identifying personal data you have and categorizing this data as necessary is the first step, and forms a good foundation for success with GDPR.
  • Manage – Managing personal data is an important key to staying in compliance. Your business must be prepared to locate, extract, delete, modify and provide people with detailed and easily understandable reports about their data upon request.
  • Protect – As with any good system, lengths must be taken to ensure the safety of the data you possess. Functionality allows for easy detection of data breaches, and respond with speed when compromises are detected.
  • Report – To stay in compliance, your business needs to maintaining audit trails, meaning it must show clear records of changes in data such as deletions, additions, changes, and security access changes.

The companies effort to protect the privacy and security of data is seen in particular in Microsoft Dynamics 365, where a number of features such as identity and access control, encrypted connections and data centers make it easier for the companies to handle the requirements. There are different tools that help locate, manage and protect data in the cloud, and compile the necessary reports and documentation required to comply with GDPR.

With GDPR being a relatively new topic, the ramifications of data protection on entities is an evolving subject. The EU has the strongest data protection laws in the world, therefore should be taken seriously, no matter the size of your business.

However, these regulations don’t have to be daunting. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central at the wheel, your business will be a shining example of good GDRP practices.

For more information on GDPR and how your business can stay in compliance, contact us.

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