GDPR: A Launch Point for Better Customer Engagement

Posted on Tuesday, November 07, 2017
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By Grant Davey
Networking & Security consultant


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The right perspective, processes, and solutions can ease compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and even create opportunities to increase customer engagement and corporate revenue.

Challenges of effective PII protection

The central goal of the GDPR is to protect the Personally identifiable information (PII) of European Union (EU) citizens, wherever the data may be. The need to protect personal data is nothing new. However, the fines for non-compliance are much higher under GDPR.

The challenges to effective PII protection are equally significant. Since an EU citizen's PII can exist anywhere, any protection efforts must assume it exists everywhere. PII is also typically accessed via connected endpoints and applications. This makes those network elements prime targets for cyber-attacks.

The Forrester Research 2016 Global Business Technographics® Security Survey found that clients and servers were the network elements most frequently targeted by external attackers. And with the increase in 'bring your own device' and cloud computing, securing those endpoints and applications is even more daunting, and essential, to PII protection and GDPR compliance.

Fortunately, the basic tasks required to deliver effective PII protection are not new, either. Modern solutions and processes for IT and cybersecurity management enable decision makers to perform three critical tasks effectively and consistently: discovery, so that you know everything important about your environment; insight to see and understand relevant conditions, relationships, interdependencies, and trends; and taking action to translate discovered information and insights into business benefits.

Ivanti has identified five key areas where Ivanti solutions can help simplify meeting the regulation's requirements.

  • Assess – complete a baseline assessment to determine your level of risk
  • Enforce – implement GDPR policies through automation and workflows
  • Secure – protect data integrity and privacy by securing your endpoints and application
  • Respond – detect, remediate, and communicate when a data request or event occurs
  • Comply – reduce risk and meet auditor requests with insight and visibility

Processes and solutions that address these areas of compliance effectively will maximise your organisation's ability to protect personal data, comply with GDPR, and avoid the significant fines and penalties associated with non-compliance. They will also provide a firm foundation for superior manageability, performance, and security of your IT infrastructure.

At many organisations, PII and other data related to customers is often inconsistently managed, spread across disparate informational and operational silos, incomplete, out of date, or all of the above. A successful journey to GDPR compliance can do more than reduce or eliminate such shortcomings. It can enable your business to discover, provide insight, and take action in ways that improve prospecting, conversion, cross-sell and up-sell at your organisation.

Beyond GDPR Compliance: More and Better Customer Engagement

GDPR demands that your organisation not only protect PII but be able to document that protection credibly, on demand. The ability to perform these tasks, in turn, requires that all personal data you handle be well managed. GDPR can provide both incentive and justification for automation and modernising multiple processes and solutions related to data protection and the 5 areas of compliance. Depending on the specifics of your environment, areas of focus can range from endpoint security and application control to asset discovery, inventory, and management.

Effective automation and modernisation efforts can deliver multiple benefits:

  • Reduced overall compliance and audit costs. Organisations must frequently comply with multiple regulations. Many also face a near-constant threat of complex software audits and expensive license "true-up." Efforts to improve discovery and documentation of PII for GDPR compliance can also improve discovery and documentation of IT assets.
  • Reduced cybersecurity risk. Security controls that are implemented or improved for GDPR compliance can also help an organisation combat and remediate IT security threats such as ransomware more effectively.
  • Higher-value IT staff allocation. With sufficient flexibility, the tools used to automate enforcement of GDPR-compliant PII policies can help automate other critical cybersecurity and IT management tasks as well.
  • Greater agility. Automated, streamlined, secure data access implemented for GDPR compliance can also help an organization respond more nimbly to changing business conditions, goals, or needs.
  • Better data- and analytics-driven decision making. Improved visibility into PII data for can be adapted and extended to other business areas and initiatives. For example, greater consolidation and storing of information about customers could help marketers create and execute more finely tuned, "custom-tailored" messages and identify new cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
  • Greater, longer-term customer/brand loyalty. Customers and partners want to know that the company they deal with cares about protecting PII, so successful efforts to do so can become marketing advantages.

Your organisation should treat GDPR compliance as less of a goal and more of a starting point. Your efforts to achieve and sustain compliance can also help you blaze new trails to higher customer and partner engagement levels, more sales, and new revenue streams.

How Softcat and Ivanti Can Help

The combination of Softcat expertise and Ivanti experience and solutions have helped customers prepare for GDPR, and can help your organisation achieve and sustain compliance and pursue more revenue streams. Ivanti solutions can help with discovery, inventory, and reporting of critical IT infrastructure elements, including those servers and applications that manage, manipulate, and store PII.

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If you'd like to explore how you can utilise Ivanti's experience and solutions to help your organisation prepare for GDPR, please get in touch with your account manager or send us a message using the button below.

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