Quick GDPR Guide for SMEs

Jan 10, 2023 | Thought Leadership

In today’s digital age, data privacy and cybersecurity are significant challenges for bother individuals as well as businesses. As a result the UK has implemented numerous rules and regulations to guarantee the safety of personal and sensitive information. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), and the Cybersecurity legislation make up the framework for data protection and cybersecurity in the UK.

The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which replaced the 1995 Data Protection Directive, came into force in May 2018. It enhances EU data protection laws and governs how businesses operating inside the EU as well as businesses outside the EU that process data belonging to EU residents must collect, store, and handle personal information. Because the UK adopted the GDPR despite leaving the EU, all businesses in the UK must abide by it regardless.

The Data Protection Act of 2018 (DPA) is the UK’s implementation of the GDPR. It provides more details about the implementation of the regulation in the UK. It also includes unique clauses for ensuring national security.

As a result of DPA coming in to force in November 1987, the Registrar’s Investigation department (later renamed to Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)) was created. The ICO is the UK’s independent data protection authority.

Alongside the Data Protection Act and the UK GDPR, there is a regulation called the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). This relates to electronic communications, they grant persons unique privacy rights. There are guidelines, that include but are not limited to, keeping communications services safe, marketing calls, emails, texts, and faxes as well as cookies (and related technologies).

To manage the threats to the security of their networks and information systems, businesses must implement adequate and proportionate technical measures. Operators of Essential Services (OES) and Digital Service Providers (DSP), which include businesses various sectors such as financial services, energy, health, etc., are subject to the directive.

The UK has its own cyber security policy that tracks the most recent threats, trends and developments. The policy has a number of objectives/goals that aim to increase the overall standard of cybersecurity of UK businesses. Included within this is the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP), a forum for the exchange of data on cyber threats. Small and medium-sized businesses can get advice from the Cyber Risk Aware campaign on how to safeguard themselves.

The UK government has also established the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is a part of GCHQ, the UK’s signals intelligence agency. The NCSC provides guidance and support to businesses on  protecting themselves from cyber threats and works with other organisations to identify and respond to cyber incidents.

In summary, the UK has a robust framework in place to protect personal and sensitive information and to ensure the security of networks and information systems. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and the Cybersecurity regulations are the main regulations that organisations operating in the UK need to comply with. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) provides guidance and support to organisations on how to protect themselves from cyber threats. By complying with these regulations and following the guidance provided by the government, organisations operating in the UK can help to mitigate the risks associated with data breaches and cyber-attacks.

If you have found the above interesting and helpful or feel you/your team would benefit from more information, additional training or a refresher course about Data Protection, please contact us at Zing365. As a specialist training provider to the insurance, corporate and financial services sectors we are proud to support over 400 clients and 20,000 learners each year and are here to help you with all your training and development needs.

Learn more about our GDPR courses here.

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