The UK Brexit planning has started in earnest and companies and organizations are rightly looking at what leaving the European Union (EU) will mean to their operations and staff.

However, amid wide-ranging business concerns is a new piece of legislation affecting personal data which could potentially have similar aftershocks — and that’s general data protection regulation (GDPR) which will apply to the UK from May 25, 2018.

GDPR is intended to strengthen data protection for individuals within the EU while imposing restrictions on the transfer of personal data outside the European Union to third countries or international organizations.

It would be a mistake for any data controller or processer to assume that because they know and adhere to the existing Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) that it will be similar and therefore no additional compliance is required.

GDPR will have a set of new and different requirements and for any organization which has day-to-day responsibility for data protection, it’s imperative that they monitor the regulations and ensure that their organization can be compliant-ready ahead of next year.

Compliance requires investment as well as specialist knowledge and many business leaders are looking at how the cloud will be able to help with their data storage, protection, and management and meet GDPR compliance as well.

GDPR is the biggest challenge facing data management in the last 20 years; it’s no understatement to say that it is presenting business leaders with a headache.

A survey from analyst firm Gartner earlier this year showed that around half of those affected by the legislation, whether in the EU or outside, will not be in full compliance when the regulations take effect.

The message coming forward is that the cloud is the preferred option to help with the upgrading of data security practices and data protection standards in line with the regulations.

As the May 2018 deadline nears ever closer, moving data to the cloud can help ease the burden faced by senior IT leaders, many of whom see GDPR compliance as their top priority.

As a leading cloud services provider, we are increasingly being asked about GDPR considerations from concerned clients migrating to the cloud.

We believe that the task of migrating people’s data such as emails, contacts, files, calendar, and tasks over to Office365 will make compliance easier for organizations.

During any cloud migration process, the most important result, particularly with the need for GDPR compliance ahead, is that data sovereignty is maintained and full control with comprehensive reporting is provided.

After migration comes management and it’s the next big part of the cloud which is vital to GDPR compliance to address security and data protection.

Organizations and service require a tool with the ability to control multi-tenant Office 365 users in a very intuitive and cost-effective way.

With the need for increased security, bulk transaction processing, advanced hierarchical management capability, and role-based access control will all help companies to comply with increasingly stringent access controls required by GDPR.

GDPR compliance before May 25, 2018 isn’t an option for those doing business with EU countries, it’s a necessity. Organizations will need to look across their business and manage their data holistically to ensure compliance and avoid sanctions. With GDPR coming into effect in a matter of months, the time to act is now.


This article was originally posted “How The Cloud Can Help Your Business Get Compliant With GDPR” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.