There is hardly any doubt that modern businesses would not have achieved seamless flexibility and agility in absence of SaaS or any other cloud computing service. Cloud services enhance growth prospects of enterprises by allowing stricter control of document versions, improving accessibility, and facilitating automatic updates. Any small or medium business or an enterprise can look forward to compete with large organizations by adopting cloud capabilities. 

Providers of Software as a Service must improve their abilities of protecting and encrypting huge volumes of data that is processed, handled, and generated by their clients. This is especially significant with the proposed reforms in the domain of data regulation by European Union, which will come into effect by 2018. 

European Union is going to overhaul all existing set of articles as well as principles pertaining to data security by redefining data privacy requirements, which are recommended by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The set of new regulations will span any and every enterprise, which is going to handle personal data of visitors or residents of European Union. Needless to mention, GDPR is set to revamp the paradigms of data regulations across the globe. 

GDPR and its reach

Entrepreneurs and IT leaders need to understand that any organization irrespective of their size or country will be influenced by GDPR if it is going to process data that has originated in the European Union. 

GDPR on Cloud & Employment Services

Complying with GDPR

It is necessary to understand factors that need to be considered while ensuring GDPR compliance. The most fundamental requirement while beginning with the compliance process is to perform data classification and data discovery processes by gaining deeper insights into the entire gamut of public and cloud hosting services. Scanning of data is a must for every organization in order to conduct flawless inventory of data and to eliminate scope for missing out privacy data. 

Apart from Data Discovery, the process of data classification is more critical due to the fact that GDPR assigns high importance to Personal Identifiable Information that is far more sensitive and privileged as compared with data which falls under the non-privacy category. 

Assessing the level of preparedness for GDPR

The impact of violating GDPR guidelines could be devastating as the fine can run into millions of dollars. This necessitates review of security practices by organizations that have anything to do with personal data that may originate from EU.

Unfortunately, there is large divide between general awareness of GDPR and the actual level of preparedness as confirmed by a major population of IT security professionals. 

It is found that less than forty five percent of IT security professionals have understood the gravity of the impending regulation and are exploring ways to prepare for accommodating these new sets of security guidelines in their respective organizations. 

Thankfully, the proposed regulation is not going to come into effect anytime before May 2018. This allows a sufficient leeway for internet organizations to put the required plans in place for achieving effective compliance with GDPR guidelines. 

These plans must be designed to cover notification processes, procedures of data inventory, and data flow. Secondly, all systems must be geared up to deliver options for data transfer, data analysis and data protection. The plan for GDPR compliance should be backed by revised procedures as well as policies in addition to robust guidelines for status reporting and compliance audits. 

GDPR and new job avenues 

Tech professionals in IT sector can look forward to a whole new set of job opportunities because as per the article number 37 of GDPR, a data protection officer must be hired for overall monitoring of core activities on regular basis.

A Data Protection Officer will be assigned multiple functions including assessment of privacy impact on audits, new products, vendors, and so forth. He will also have to understand the level of risk assessment pertaining to sensitive data in the current business scenario. These functions will be in addition to retention, pseudonymization and anonymization of sensitive data. 

It is roughly estimated that as many as 75000 new vacancies will be created by GDPR for the post of Data Protection Officer across the globe in addition to 28000 positions in Europe alone. In fact, many organizations have already begun the process of appointing DPOs.

Things to remember

Most of the new DPO positions will be of contractual in nature and the US and UK will be major countries to focus on as there will be far more job openings than all the rest of European nations combined together. The speed of appointments will be accelerated as the day of enforcement of the regulation nears. 

As the new GDPR guidelines will be rolled out, we can witness greater implementation of privacy as well as security measures. The entire process of compliance with the new set of guidelines will leave a significant footprint on the global data security landscape.