By now, most security professionals are aware of the European Union’s (EU) plan to unify data privacy requirements across all member states with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will take effect in May 2018. All companies with an establishment in the EU are subject to the regulation regardless of where they process personal data, including those based in outside countries that have any consumers in the EU.

What Does GDPR Compliance Entail?

The GDPR places laborious accountability obligations on Data Processors and Controllers to demonstrate compliance by adopting policies and procedures that enable “data protection by design and by default.” Additionally, Data Processors are required to demonstrate explicit consent for processing, collecting and profiling sensitive personal data. In certain circumstances, Data Controllers must designate a Data Protection Officer (DPO) as part of their accountability programs.

Finally, businesses are required to notify customers within 72 hours of discovering a data breach. The EU will impose huge fines for noncompliance, ranging from 10 million euros or 2 percent of gross revenue to 20 million euros or 4 percent of gross revenue.

Identifying Sensitive Data

It is widely accepted that intrinsic motivation is a far stronger incentive than extrinsic factors, which brings us to a crucial impasse a mere 13 months before the GDPR is scheduled to take effect.

Security professionals are overwhelmed and uninspired. Getting started seems like an impossible effort, but there is an ember of hope for teams that are intrinsically motivated to protect their clients from security breaches. These professionals are motivated by the sheer satisfaction of enhancing security by consolidating data into a unified platform, identifying where sensitive data is located and, if necessary, reporting on it.

A security intelligence solution can get you off to a great start. A comprehensive tool such as QRadar is at the center of it all, seeing and detecting everything in your network through behavioral analysis of network and event data. QRadar now provides a new Data and Application Risk Scanner App, which is available on the IBM Security App Exchange. This free, easy-to-install app enables customers to get a preview of the GDPR risk associated with applications and databases in their environments.

The app scans log, flow and asset profiles regularly for databases and application assets that have been identified by QRadar. Oracle databases can be further scanned automatically for emails, phone numbers, passport numbers, and other personally identifiable information (PII) and sensitive personally identifiable information (SPII). The app then calculates an estimate of the vulnerability and risk distribution associated with applications and databases identified. When the risk type is high, it is indicative of GDPR data.

Download the white paper: The GDPR is coming — and sooner than you think

QRadar to the Rescue

Identifying these assets is a great start, but security intelligence can do much more to help with GDPR compliance. For example, once identified, these assets can be tagged and their risk ratings increased to drive more sensitive anomalous behavior detection, higher priority offense and vulnerability risk scoring. It can also produce automated reports around use of those assets.

Users can leverage QRadar Network Insights and its built-in content inspection support to detect PII and SPI data. This enables rapid identification of systems that fall under GDPR compliance and more accurately detects malicious behaviors.

Additionally, QRadar acts as a database and tamper-proof log repository for the reporting aspects of the GDPR, including deletion of customer data, who has access to customer data, who has modified customer data and more. Finally, QRadar identifies and prioritizes abnormalities and potential breaches to help customers get ahead of issues before data loss. It enables timely reporting should a breach occur.

Transforming GDPR Compliance Into Success

Your first step toward GDPR compliance is easier than you think. Once the most difficult task of getting started is accomplished, we gain momentum, followed by motivation and, finally, success.

To learn more about the GDPR, download our white paper, “The GDPR: It’s Coming — and Sooner Than You Think. Are You Prepared?

More from Data Protection

Overheard at RSA Conference 2024: Top trends cybersecurity experts are talking about

4 min read - At a brunch roundtable, one of the many informal events held during the RSA Conference 2024 (RSAC), the conversation turned to the most popular trends and themes at this year’s events. There was no disagreement in what people presenting sessions or companies on the Expo show floor were talking about: RSAC 2024 is all about artificial intelligence (or as one CISO said, “It’s not RSAC; it’s RSAI”). The chatter around AI shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone who attended…

3 Strategies to overcome data security challenges in 2024

3 min read - There are over 17 billion internet-connected devices in the world — and experts expect that number will surge to almost 30 billion by 2030.This rapidly growing digital ecosystem makes it increasingly challenging to protect people’s privacy. Attackers only need to be right once to seize databases of personally identifiable information (PII), including payment card information, addresses, phone numbers and Social Security numbers.In addition to the ever-present cybersecurity threats, data security teams must consider the growing list of data compliance laws…

How data residency impacts security and compliance

3 min read - Every piece of your organization’s data is stored in a physical location. Even data stored in a cloud environment lives in a physical location on the virtual server. However, the data may not be in the location you expect, especially if your company uses multiple cloud providers. The data you are trying to protect may be stored literally across the world from where you sit right now or even in multiple locations at the same time. And if you don’t…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today