Over time, digitization has increased the prevalence of cloud-based services as opposed to working on on-premise infrastructure. Cloud-based software platforms have made the processes of data collection, storage, and management impersonal. With a centralized repository for all your data, it is important to make sure that these digital assets are safe and protected against potential threats.
This is where cloud compliance comes into the picture.
Cloud compliance allows you to make sure that the data collected and managed by your organization is secure and private. It helps your customers and clients to rest assured that their valuable information is stored and processed within a protected infrastructure. A cloud compliance manager is responsible for ensuring that you are in sync with all compliance standards and regulations to continue providing services to your customers.
The advent of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has made data compliance more relevant and serious for organizations across the board. Although they are limited to the European Union, the GDPR principles have inspired several countries across the globe to implement their own laws and regulations for data compliance.
This has made more organizations and customers aware of the need and importance of data compliance. While the customers need utmost transparency in knowing where and how their data is being utilized, the organizations need to have a cloud security system in place to maintain the utmost security of valuable records stored within the system.
In the age of GDPR, it is important for every organization providing cloud-based services to have a cloud compliance manager dedicated to ensuring the privacy and security of the data handled by the company.
Here is the checklist to adhere to for ensuring utmost data compliance within your organization:
Being Well Versed with All The Data You Collect
Firstly, it is important for an organization to know all the data collected by the reps for being processed. This sets the case for all data security and compliance processes that follow.
Here are seven major categories that should help you in mapping all the data collected by your company from different sources:
This is the precise location from where you collected a given set of data, such as a web-to-lead form, email subscription form, etc.
Details Of The Customers/Clients
This information includes details like the name of the customers or business, email addresses, phone numbers, etc. that go into your database.
The Reason For Data Collection
You may collect data for the purpose of collecting sales leads, create a marketing campaign, make important announcements, increase brand visibility, and several other purposes.
Processing Of Data
This information shows how the collected data is stored, processed, and accessed by the employees.
The Time After Which Data Is Disposed Of
This is the time period after which your system deletes the collected data to ensure privacy and security.
The Consent For Collecting Data
This is to confirm whether you have the customers’ consent to collect the concerned set of data
The Sensitive Nature Of Data
This is to confirm whether the collected information is sensitive in nature (such as PII).
Hiring/Appointing A Data Compliance Manager
It is important for an organization to have a dedicated compliance manager or GPDR representatives in place to oversee the execution of data compliance processes and adherence to the data compliance regulations. They are responsible for making sure that the customers are provided with all their rights and the organization is able to manage the collected data in the best way possible.
Some of the key duties of a compliance manager include:
- Advising the customers and employees about data compliance practices
- Informing the staff about data protection impact assessment
- Monitoring and tracking all collected to ensure utmost compliance
- Serving as the primary point of contact for all data processing inquiries
- Being well-versed with all potential risks involved in undertaking specific data compliance processes
Depending on your requirements, you can appoint a compliance manager from your internal staff or hire a compliance manager dedicated to this job.
Assessing The Data Collection Requirements
In the age of GDPR, it is advisable for an organization to only collect the data that is necessary for processing. This makes it important to assess your data collection needs to ensure compliance. The compliance manager would scrutinize the collected data to make sure that you have not collected any more information than what is absolutely necessary.
Here are some instances when you need to scrutinize your data collection requirements:
- When you are tracking the location of your customers
- If you are implementing a new technology
- If you are tracking the behavior of your customers
- If you are collecting data for making automated decisions that may have legal implications
- If the collected data is associated with children
- If you are monitoring areas that are publicly accessible
A thorough assessment is also required if you are collecting personal information that deals with:
- Genetic data
- Philosophical beliefs
- Religious views
- Sexual orientations
- Health records
- Financial records
- Biometric data
- Political ideologies
Immediate Actions In Case Of Data Breaches
Data breaches can have lasting implications for an organization. No matter how small or seemingly futile a data breach is, it is always advisable to report the same to the authorities to take immediate action against the same.
Using a cloud security monitoring platform helps you in ascertaining data breaches in real-time, allowing you to take quick action against the same.
Being Transparent With The Customers
Transparency is an important pillar of data compliance. It is always advisable for an organization to be transparent and honest about the motives behind data collection with the customers. This helps the customers be assured about the intentions of the organization they are dealing with.
GDPR makes it compulsory for organizations to be transparent about their data collection motives with their customers, failing which they would be required to pay a hefty fine.
Always make sure that you clearly mention your needs and requirements for collecting data at the data collection points to make your intentions clear.
In case you are using cookies to collect data from the visitors of your website, you can use the collected data for your business processes, provided that:
- The customers/prospects have clearly given their consent to let you use the data collected via cookies,
- You have clearly specified how the cookie data will be used,
- All the consents received from the customers/prospects are clearly documented,
- You do not restrict website access if the use of cookie data is denied, and
- You provide the customers/prospects with the power to withdraw their consent whenever they deem necessary.
The Final Word
These were some of the most important factors to keep in mind while undertaking cloud compliance and processing the data collected from your customers. When you adhere to all compliance requirements, you can win the trust of your customers and streamline your processes to obtain the desired traction.
Follow Techdee for more!