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?

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