Your business is required to comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Therefore you are obliged to conduct regular GDPR risk assessments.
This isn’t just because the Regulation says that you should. Risk assessments are essential for effective cyber security. They also help organisations address problems that, if left unchecked, could cause major problems.
However, the GDPR is clear that data is also vulnerable to accidental or unlawful destruction, loss or disclosure. Therefore, you must understand how any of these could occur at all stages of the data handling operation.
The GDPR risk assessment methodology
The goal of any information security risk assessment methodology is to make sure everybody conducting the assessment or interpreting its findings are agreed on what the assessment must deliver.
You must have a methodology. This is a set of rules defining how you conduct the risk assessment. This is to make sure the risks are evaluated in a consistent manner. This enables you to adequately compare your priorities.
Methodologies also outline specific terms for an organisation:
- Baseline security criteria: the minimum set of defences to fend off risks;
- Risk scale: a universal way of quantifying risk;
- Risk appetite: the level of risk the organisation is willing to accept; and
- Scenario or asset risk management: the strategies used to reduce the damage caused by certain incidents or that can be caused to certain parts of the organisation.
You can find out more about the risk assessment process by following the ISO27001 guidance. The international standard for information security contains a best-practice framework for evaluating risks. This framework is closely aligned to the GDPR.
Streamline the GDPR risk assessments process
Risk assessment auditing is complex. You should also consider the repercussions of getting the audit wrong. Therefore, your organisation will benefit from getting expert advice.
Our Cyber Risk Team helps your business conduct an information security risk assessment efficiently and easily. This will eliminate the need for spreadsheets which are prone to user input errors. They can also be difficult to set up and maintain.
- Easy to use. The process is as simple as selecting some options and clicking a few buttons.
- Able to generate audit reports. The Statement of Applicability and the Risk Treatment Plan can be exported, edited and shared across the business. They can also be shared with the auditors.
- Geared for repeatability. The assessment process is delivered consistently year after year or when circumstances change.
- Streamlined and accurate. Drastically reduces the chance of human error.
DPIA risk assessments
There is much more to the GDPR and risk assessments than the threat of data breaches.
There are also times when you must also complete a specific type of risk assessment. This is known as a DPIA (data protection impact assessment) and is for you to review the way you process personal data. DPIAs are necessary whenever personal data processing is “likely to result in a high risk” to the rights and freedoms of individuals.
You can read more about DPIAs here.