The deadline for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation is edging closer, and businesses must make efforts now. GDPR will change the way organizations across the globe treat sensitive personal data, and your firm must be ready.

Here's a few steps to help your company prepare for the GDPR:

1. Ensure awareness and understanding

The first step here is to ensure that all company decision-makers, department heads and other stakeholders are aware of the GDPR, its impending enforcement deadline and the changes it puts in place for the treatment of personal data. Using a resource like EUGDPR.org is a good place to start.

"[K]ey people in your organization … need to appreciate the impact this is likely to have and identify the areas that could cause compliance problems under the GDPR," noted a white paper from the Information Commissioner's Office.

"GDPR will change the way organizations treat personal data."

It's critical that stakeholders understand that even if the business doesn't operate inside of the European Union, it could still serve customers who are citizens there. Thus, the company is beholden to these new standards.

2. Prepare for data subject rights

Some of the biggest changes with the GDPR emerge from the rights it grants data subjects: Those citizens within the EU whose personal information is being utilized by businesses for analysis or other initiatives. Under these new rules, data subjects have the right to confirm with organizations that their data is, in fact, being used, as well as the purpose behind these processes. EU citizens also have the right to be forgotten, or Data Erasure, where they can order a stop to further processing or dissemination of their data. Finally, data subjects can also leverage their right to data portability, wherein data can be transmitted to another party, should the data subject so choose.

Businesses must be prepared to access data, eliminate or move data according to these rights. Any delay in these processes could be considered non-compliance, so enterprises must have granular visibility and control in order to adhere to these rights.

3. Create a plan for breach notification

The GDPR establishes new standards for data breaches, where incidents that are likely to "result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals" are reported, noted EUGDPR.org. Breach notification is imperative to maintaining compliance with the GDPR. Once in place, breached businesses must be able to notify data subjects "without undue delay" after becoming aware of the breach, or within 72 hours. 

In order to prepare, your business should create a plan for breach notification, if one is not in place already. This will require agility and streamlined communication processes, ensuring that those whose data has been breached knows about the incident as quickly as possible.

4. Leverage a compliant data solution

Overall, the GDPR requires that business have more agile control over their data assets, particularly those belonging to private citizens. In order to maintain peak privacy and protection, it's important that organizations leverage data solutions that are build with compliance in mind.

Unifi's Compliance Data Hub fits this bill to a tee. This solution helps provide the best visibility over data possible, eliminated fragmented data and consolidating all data sources within a robust data environment.

To find out more about how the Unifi Compliance Data Hub can help your company achieve GDPR compliance, check out this solution brief and contact Unifi Software today.