On Tuesday 10th October 2017 managed IT services company Rockford IT hosted a GDPR event at the Park Inn Hotel in Telford, Shropshire, with over 70 business people attending to learn more about this hot topic.
The GDPR is the EU General Data Protection Regulation. It has been a regulation since May 2016, but will start to be enforced from 25th May 2018 and supersede the current Data Protection Act 1998 and other data protection regulations.
Rockford IT called upon a range of industry speakers to add depth. Rockford IT’s Tom Sykes, Paul Bennett from Aaron and Partners LLP, Tony Sykes from IT Group UK and WatchGuard UK’s Mike Pencavel all gave presentations. To keep the event engaging an interactive a portal was set up for attendees, allowing them to ask questions and answer polls throughout via a phone, tablet or laptop which was very well received with attendees:
“The Sli.do interaction really helpful to keep the whole session interactive and not too dry.”
“Excellent use of technology to allow easy engagement with attendees”
After completing a 5 day course and examination Rockford IT’s CEO, Tom Sykes became an EU Certified GDPR Practitioner earlier this year. Tom started off the event with an overview of GDPR and highlighted all the key points businesses need to start with and how Rockford IT have begun their GDPR compliant journey.
Employment Law specialist Paul Bennett gave the attendees a whistle stop tour of GDPR for SME businesses from a legal perspective; Tony Sykes, a partner of digital forensics company IT Group UK, gave an insight into where your data might be found, and how and it might be where you don’t expect it to be; and finally WatchGuard UK’s Mike Pencavel spoke about IT Security and GDPR. He gave some alarming figures on malware and illustrated how, without IT Security in place, businesses are vulnerable to a data breach which could lead to a breach of the GDPR.
Many organisations see data security as an IT issue, but the GDPR makes it crystal clear the security and treatment of personal data is a serious organisational issue that cannot be ignored. The financial penalties for failing to comply are significant with a potential fine of €20m or 4% of annual turnover (whichever is greater) for the worst failures. The current fines that can be imposed by the ICO under the Data Protection Act are currently at a limit of £500,000.
“Now is not the time to underestimate the potential ramifications. If your business works in the EU and you process EU consumer data in any way, the GDPR raises the stakes considerably for your IT and data storage practices. There is a huge amount of work for organisations to do to begin complying with all areas of the GDPR,” warns Tom Sykes.
Overall the event was very well received and the feedback has been great:
“The range of speaker expertise – legal, IT, data security – gave lots of food for thought on areas of GDPR not previously on my radar”.
“Well organised with relevant content. I have been to a few GDPR events now, this was by far the most interesting with more relevant content”.
“It was excellent at giving us a simple overview of GDPR and signposting us towards the next steps for our organisation”.
If you would like any information on what steps you can take to be ready for GDPR, contact us here.
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