GDPR and Data Breaches: What You Need to Know

With the rise of cybercrime and the increasing amount of sensitive information being stored digitally, it’s more important than ever to be aware of how your data is being protected. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and data breaches. From understanding the basics to learning what steps you can take to protect yourself, this guide will help ensure that your personal information stays safe and secure in a digital world.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is a set of regulations that member states of the European Union must implement in order to protect the privacy of digital data. The regulation is also known as EU Regulation 2016/679 and effect on May 25, 2018.

GDPR replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive. Companies that process the personal data of EU citizens must comply with GDPR unless they can demonstrate that they meet certain conditions. Failure to comply with GDPR can result in fines of up to 4% of a company’s global annual revenue, or €20 million (whichever is greater).

GDPR gives individuals the right to access their personal data, the right to have their personal data erased, the right to object to processing of their personal data. GDPR also gives individuals the right not to be subject to automated decision-making, including profiling

Types of Data Breaches

There are four main types of data breaches: accidental, malicious, structural, and external.

  1. Accidental data breaches are caused by human error, such as an employee losing a laptop with sensitive information on it, or sending an email to the wrong person.
  2. Malicious data breaches are carried out by hackers or other malicious actors who gain unauthorized access to systems or data.
  3. Structural data breaches occur when there is a flaw in the system itself, such as a vulnerability that is exploited.
  4. External data breaches happen when third-party service providers unintentionally expose data, such as through a misconfigured database.

Data breaches can have devastating consequences for organizations and individuals alike. They can lead to financial losses, damage to reputation, and even legal action. It is important to be aware of the different types of data breaches and how to prevent them.

What Are the Risks of Data Breaches?

Data breaches are becoming increasingly common, as our lives move increasingly online. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to protect the personal data of European Union (EU) citizens from being unlawfully accessed or stolen. However, there are still risks associated with data breaches, even when GDPR is in place.

One of the main risks of a data breach is that it can lead to identity theft. If your personal data is compromised in a data breach, criminals may be able to use it to steal your identity and commit fraud. This can have a serious impact on your finances and your reputation.

Another risk associated with data breaches is that they can damage the reputation of the organisation that has been breached. If customers lose trust in an organisation because their personal data has been mishandled, this can lead to financial losses for the organisation. In some cases, data breaches can also result in regulatory action being taken against the organisation concerned.

The GDPR includes provisions to help mitigate these risks, including fines for organisations that fail to protect people’s personal data adequately. However, the best way to protect yourself from the risks associated with data breaches is to be aware of them and take steps to protect your own personal data.

How Can I Protect My Organization from Data Breaches?

Data breaches can have devastating consequences for any organization. The loss of confidential information, customer data, or intellectual property can lead to financial losses, reputational damage, and a loss of trust from customers and partners.

There are a number of steps that organizations can take to protect themselves from data breaches, including:

1. Implementing strong security measures: Organizations should implement strong security measures to protect their data and prevent unauthorized access. This includes measures such as firewalls, encryption, and access control systems.

2. Training employees on security: Employees should be trained on security procedures and policies, so they can identify risks and take appropriate action to protect data.

3. Conducting regular security audits: Regular security audits help identify weaknesses in an organization’s security posture and allow corrective action to be taken before a breach occurs.

4. Keeping software up-to-date: Software should be kept up-to-date with the latest security patches to help prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited by attackers.

5. Planning for incidents: Incidents will occur despite all preventive measures being taken. Therefore, it is important to have a plan in place for how to respond to a breach if one does occur. This plan should include steps for containment, recovery, and communication.

The GDPR and Data Breach Requirements

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of regulations that member states of the European Union must implement in order to protect the privacy of digital data. The regulation is also known as the EU Data Protection Regulation, Reg. No. 765/2016.
It replaces the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), which was passed in 1995 and did not take into account advances in technology.

The GDPR sets out strict requirements for how data controllers must handle personal data, including ensuring that data is processed lawfully, transparently and with the individual’s consent. If a data controller fails to comply with these requirements and a data breach occurs, they may be subject to enforcement action from the supervisory authority or individuals may be able to bring claims against them.

Data controllers must take reasonable steps to protect personal data from accidental or unauthorized access, destruction, alteration, or use. This includes putting in place technical and organizational measures such as encryption and physical security measures.

If a data controller experiences a data breach, they must notify the supervisory authority within 72 hours if possible, unless the breach is unlikely to result in risks to the rights and freedoms of individuals. The notification must include:

  • a description of the nature of the breach;
  • the name and contact details of the data protection officer;
  • the likely consequences of the breach;
  • the measures taken or proposed to be taken by the controller to address the breach.

Where there is a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, the controller must also inform them without undue delay.

Are There Penalties for Noncompliance with the GDPR?

Yes, there are definitely penalties for noncompliance with the GDPR. If you are found to be in violation of the GDPR, you can be fined up to 4% of your global annual revenue or €20 million (whichever is greater). Additionally, you could be subject to enforcement action from the supervisory authority, which could include ordering you to stop processing data or take other corrective measures. Individuals who have been harmed by your noncompliance may be able to sue you for damages.

Understanding the basics of GDPR and data breaches is an essential part of staying secure in today’s digital world. With these guidelines, businesses can ensure that they are compliant with all relevant laws, protecting their customers’ sensitive information from malicious parties. By understanding the risks associated with data breaches and how to mitigate them through proper security protocols, organizations can protect their customers while maintaining a competitive edge when it comes to privacy protection.

If you have any questions or concerns about GDPR certification or need help achieving compliance in your organization, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts is here to guide you through the GDPR certification process and provide customized solutions to meet your specific needs. You can reach us by email at We are committed to helping you protect your customers’ privacy and build trust in your business.