How to Achieve Data Compliance with a GDPR Audit in 2024

Myles Dacres

Discover what a GDPR audit is, who can perform one and the key benefits of staying compliant.

GDPR Audit at Data Protection People

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires organisations to compliantly protect and handle the personal data of UK citizens. To ensure compliance, it is recommended that you frequently review whether you meet data protection standards. This is typically done through a data protection audit.

As we start January, now is the time to review your data protection measures to identify non-compliance areas. This will allow you to understand high-risk areas and which areas require immediate attention.

So, what’s your first step? A GDPR or data protection audit identifies shortcomings, solves them, and ensures your company avoids fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).   

In this article, you’ll discover what a GDPR audit includes, the benefits and whether you need one for the year ahead. 

What Is a GDPR Audit? 

A GDPR audit is an independent assessment of an organisation’s processing of personal data. The auditor will test the data controls in place, verify your policies and procedures and detect (and report) breaches or potential breaches. 

The DPO will advise on your data protection obligations and recommend ways to mitigate non-compliance across policy, control and procedure. The GDPR audit will outline your greatest risk areas and provide direction for ongoing improvements. 

A data privacy audit ultimately highlights whether you comply with the UK GDPR, the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 18) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).  

Who Can Perform a Data Protection Audit? 

A data protection audit is no easy task. Because of this, only a specialist with relevant experience and qualifications should conduct a GDPR audit. These included data protection officers, coordinators or IT security experts. 

If you possess this knowledge in-house, your team members can conduct your GDPR audit. However, outsourcing to external auditors eliminates conflict of interest and ensures best practices drive their findings. 

Hiring an outsourced DPO is an excellent example of this. At Data Protection People, we will act as your trusted advisor, ensuring you align with industry standards. 

What Are the Benefits of a Data Privacy Audit?

A thorough GDPR audit helps you maintain best practices when handling sensitive information. Conducting an audit will: 

  • Raise awareness of data protection, cyber security and general information security; 
  • Identify data privacy vulnerabilities and independent recommendations for addressing them; 
  • Give you expert insight from a qualified data protection auditor who’s ready to assist you;
  • Ensure compliance with the UK GDPR, DPA 18 and PECR;
  • Prevent data misuse or loss, helping you avoid data breach fines;
  • Allow you to deliver compliant services, building trust with your customers;   
  • Improve your company’s competitive edge, allowing you to use personal data to support growth responsibly. 

Do I Need a GDPR Audit?

A data protection audit is essential if your company wants to comply with the UK GDPR’s rules and regulations. This applies whether you are a data controller or a data processor

The UK GDPR highlights that all data controllers are accountable for their compliance and the processors working with them. As such, you must follow the data protection principles noted in Article 5 of the UK GDPR

A GDPR audit is not a legal requirement, but how will you know your company is compliant without one? It’s a risk that’s not worth taking, especially when data breach fines can rise to £17.5 million

Want to know what’s included in a GDPR audit checklist? Head to our latest blog on preparing for a data protection audit.  

Choose Us for Your Next Data Protection Audit 

Data Protection People are specialists in data privacy management and will help you achieve compliance with an independent GDPR audit. We have a team of auditors who offer expert insight and outstanding outcomes for all industries. 

Contact the team to learn about our GDPR audits.