GDPR Breaches: What You Need to Know

Eve Hobson

Check out this blog on all you need to know about GDPR breaches and how Data Protection People can assist with dealing with them.

GDPR Breaches: What You Need to Know

With the rise of online activity, businesses of all sizes collect and store vast amounts of personal data. This data, ranging from names and email addresses to financial information and health records, must be protected. To ensure this critical protection, the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), a UK law, sets strict rules on how organisations handle personal data. A GDPR breach can be a serious issue for any business, potentially leading to hefty fines, reputational damage, and even legal action. This Blog explores everything you need to know about GDPR breaches.

What is a GDPR Breach?

A GDPR breach occurs when there’s a security incident that compromises the security of personal data. This can encompass a wide range of events, including:

  • Through unauthorised access: Hackers can infiltrate your systems and steal data, acting like digital thieves breaking into a vault.
  • Due to accidental loss: Data on a laptop or USB drive can be lost or stolen, similar to misplacing your wallet with important information.
  • Accidental disclosure can also occur. Personal information can be mistakenly sent to the wrong recipient, akin to sending a confidential email to the wrong address.
  • By alteration or destruction: Data corruption or deliberate destruction by unauthorised individuals can tamper with or erase critical information, functioning like vandalism in the digital world.

Examples of GDPR Breaches:

If you suspect a GDPR breach has occurred, it’s crucial to act swiftly. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps to take:

  1. Identify the Breach: The first step is to determine the nature and scope of the breach. After a data breach, key questions are: what data (names, emails, etc.) and how many people are affected? Understanding the exposed information is vital, as is the scope of the breach to determine the number of impacted individuals. These answers are crucial for assessing the breach’s severity and taking steps to minimise damage. Understanding the specifics is critical to taking the necessary actions.

  2. Assess the Risk: Once you’ve identified the breach, you need to assess the potential risk to individuals. Consider factors like the sensitivity of the data, the likelihood of misuse, and the potential impact on individuals’ rights and freedoms.

  3. Report the Breach: The GDPR mandates notifying the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours of becoming aware of a high-risk breach. This notification should detail the nature of the breach, the affected individuals, and the steps being taken to address it.

  4. Inform Individuals: If the breach poses a high risk to individuals, you must inform them without undue delay. This notification should explain the nature of the breach, the potential risks, and the steps you’re taking to mitigate them.

  5. Develop a Remediation Plan: Take steps to contain the breach, prevent further damage, and improve your data security measures. This may involve patching vulnerabilities in your systems, implementing stricter access controls, and providing additional security awareness training for your staff.

What to Do in the Event of a GDPR Breach

A GDPR breach can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. Data Protection People, offers expert guidance and support throughout the entire process. Here’s how we can help:

  • Incident Response: Our team has extensive experience in identifying and containing data breaches. We’ll work with you to understand the scope of the GDPR breach and take steps to minimise the damage.

  • Risk Assessment: We can help you assess the potential impact of the GDPR breach on individuals and your organisation. This will inform your decision on whether to notify authorities and affected individuals.

  • Regulatory Compliance: We ensure your breach notification to the supervisory authority meets all UK GDPR requirements.

  • Individual Notification: We can help you craft clear and concise communication to affected individuals, outlining the breach details and your remediation efforts.

  • Remediation Strategy: We work with you to develop a comprehensive remediation plan that addresses the root cause of the breach and strengthens your data security posture.

Data Protection Made Easy: Your Peace of Mind

At Data Protection People, we understand that data protection can be complex. Recognising this challenge, our motto, “Data Protection Made Easy,” reflects our commitment to simplifying data protection for businesses of all sizes. We offer a range of services designed to help to assist you , including:

  • GDPR audits and gap analysis: We identify potential weaknesses in your data security practices and recommend improvements.
  • Data Protection Officer (DPO) services: We provide expert guidance on data protection best practices and act as your outsourced DPO.
  • Data breach preparedness training: We equip your staff with the knowledge and skills to identify and prevent data breaches.

To proactively minimise disruption caused by a data breach and safeguard your reputation, you can achieve this by taking these matters seriously and implementing a strong breach response plan. This two-pronged approach not only ensures you’re following regulations but also positions you to react effectively should a breach occur.

Get in touch today for a free consultation.

By following these steps and seeking expert help, you can minimise the damage caused by a GDPR breach and protect your reputation.