How To Ensure You’re Fully Compliant With New Data Protection Laws Coming Into Force On May 25th.
Is Your Business Ready For Europe's Biggest Change To Data Protection Laws In 20 Years?
If this is the first you’ve heard of any such changes, then the chances are it probably isn’t. If you’ve heard of them, but still haven’t gotten round to updating your network security with a managed firewall, then it’s almost certain that you’re still unprepared for the imminent arrival of GDPR.
We are going to explain exactly why a security upgrade is so essential but first let’s answer the one question that’s really on your mind:
What Exactly IS GDPR?
For years, the way your business handles the personal data of your customers has been regulated by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), which followed on from the 1995 EU data protection directive.
Whilst the DPA may have worked when it was first created, the world we live in today is vast -almost unrecognisably- different than it was 20 years ago.
Personal data is now a highly valuable commodity, and the ways that we collect, use, and store that data has changed so much that existing laws are simply no longer fit for purpose.
Enter the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on Friday, May 25th, 2018, and is set to change the way we deal with sensitive customer information.
Will My Business Be Affected?
In all likelihood, yes.
On its official website, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) says that "If you are currently subject to the DPA, it is likely that you will also be subject to the GDPR."
In other words, if you collect, process, or store any kind of Personally Identifiable Information (anything from an IP address to bank details) then it's essential that your business is GDPR compliant.
How Will A Managed Firewall Ensure GDPR Compliance For My Business?
Beyond all the talk of new consent procedures and communications processes, there’s one aspect of the new regulation that continues to stump many SMEs:
The need to upgrade their network security to provide greater protection against cybercriminals.
GDPR mandates that businesses should secure their infrastructures using up-to-date technology which offers both situational awareness of potential threats and the ability to take 'preventative, corrective, and mitigating action," in almost real-time.
This isn’t simply a case of law-makers being overly-cautious.
At a time when reports of high-profile ransomware attacks and businesses suffering huge financial losses after failing to keep data out of the wrong hands are all too common, technology which enables a business to quickly identify potential security breaches and take immediate action is vital for the long-term safety and success of any modern organisation.
How can technology achieve this in a way that neither triples your IT expenditure nor requires a complete overhaul of your entire infrastructure?
You guessed it:
A Managed Firewall.
A comprehensive solution that not only monitors and manages all incoming and outgoing network traffic but also provides greater protection against malware, ransomware, and other security breaches than the standard firewalls typically provided by your ISP.
Below, we look at just some of the advantages of investing in a managed solution, and how these advantages can ensure your business is ready for the big change on May 25th.
Complete Consultation and Configuration By Qualified Engineers
You've read all you can about GDPR and the steps your business needs to take to ensure full compliance, but you're still not entirely sure about exactly what you need to do next.
- What technology do you need to invest in?
- What features does it need to have?
- How do you install, configure, and maintain your firewall in a way that causes minimum disruptions to your day-to-day operations?
With a managed firewall service, you have access to the expertise and unique insights of experienced IT security professionals who are on hand to answer these and any other questions you have.
Taking the time to understand your business, your customers, and your existing network, these qualified engineers can recommend a powerful, GDPR-compliant firewall solution that best suits your needs, and work with you to eliminate the hassles and headaches of integrating it into your infrastructure.
24/7 Threat Detection and Rapid Response
Situational awareness of threats and the ability to tackle them in near real-time is a key requirement for GDPR-compliant networks. Thankfully, that's exactly what a managed firewall does best.
The moment your firewall is switched on, it gets to work on monitoring your entire network and continues to do so right around the clock. As such, no matter what time of day or night it may be, you enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your systems are well-protected.
Should a threat emerge, your firewall instantly gets to work on eliminating it.
With Automated Threat Response, even the most advanced malware threats can be automatically quarantined and killed off, whilst customisable controls mean you can devise your own policies for creating automated responses to other potential threats.
On the rare occasion that a threat bypasses your usual automated processes, your managed services provider will be notified within moments and can get to work on tackling the threat before it causes problems for your business.
Regular Patching and Updates
GDPR compliance requires businesses to ensure that their network security is completely up-to-date and able to tackle even the most complex malware threats.
Whilst using a managed firewall can be a big first step to achieving that, this certainly isn't a set-it-and-forget-it situation.
The problem with most cyber-security tools is that, no matter how sophisticated they may be, cyber-criminals are creating attacks that are even more advanced.
Using everything from data encryption to packing and polymorphism, attackers are getting smarter when it comes to sneaking past even the most advanced security systems undetected.
So it's vital that your firewall is serviced and updated on a consistent basis, with regular patches to fix vulnerabilities that could be exploited and ensure that you're fully protected against the next level of threats.
Such patching and maintenance tasks are typically included in your SLA with a managed service provider, ensuring that your firewall continues to prove a valuable investment long after it is installed.
Hands-On Support When You Need it Most
Regular maintenance and ongoing updates can go a long way in ensuring your firewall delivers optimum performance at all times, but if the unexpected does occur, or even if you're simply not sure about something, help is never more than a phone call away.
World-Class Security Technology
So far so good, but doesn't investing in advanced network security mean paying over the odds?
Working with a managed firewall provider means working with a company that is already in a successful partnership with some of the leading names in IT security. Thanks to this unique partnership, your business enjoys access to best-in-class technology at highly competitive rates.
At Total Group, we're proud to partner with WatchGuard, the industry's most advanced network security solutions. We can advise, quote according to your requirements, install and manage your firewall solution. Have a look at options here
Fully GDPR-compliant, WatchGuard's vast range of services provide comprehensive protection for your business against even the most sophisticated of threats, whilst the experience and expertise of our accredited WatchGuard engineers ensure your firewall is constantly updated and performing at its best.