With GDPR coming into play this month, 2018 is a big year for data. Unsurprisingly, this focus on data protection has resulted in a large number of businesses analysing their own data practices with a fine-tooth comb to ensure they are following best practice. Whilst data management strategies are rarely set in stone, due to constantly evolving technologies and regulations, there are data trends present in the 2018 landscape that could benefit businesses going forward.
The phrase on everybody’s lips this year is GDPR, which stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. It is part of EU law and protects the private data of all individuals within the European Union. Any business which collects or processes the private data of an EU citizen needs to be up-to-date with GDPR rules regardless of where your organisation is based. Businesses which do not abide by GDPR legislation should be prepared to face heavy penalties. Whilst many are disgruntled by the new law, there are benefits such as easy expansion for businesses into an EU country, as data protection lawyers will not need to be employed. Furthermore, companies will receive more accurate data, improved global data security and improved business reputation and customer loyalty.
Cybercrime today is organised, cunning and strategic. With the NHS falling foul to a ransomware attack in May 2017 and GitHub being hit with a massive denial of service attack in February this year, organisations are beginning to realise that preventative cybersecurity measures are imperative. Data theft is an industry in itself and simply reacting to a breach once it has been committed is not enough. Many businesses think that cyberattacks are committed by a lonely individual in their bedroom. However, the reality is much more menacing as these criminals have their own offices, operations teams and even their own IT departments. In a world where cybercrime is so strategic, businesses need to update their cyber protection and regularly test its capabilities across all devices.
Efficient data analysis
Data is meaningless if you don’t know how to use it. It is critical that organisations have appropriate tools and programmes in place to effectively sort and analyse data. Otherwise, there is little purpose collating it in the first place. A common issue in many companies is having countless collections of data and not enough staff to analyse it effectively, making it redundant or not using it to its full potential. With businesses realising they need to focus upon data quality as opposed to quantity, hiring managers are seeking new talent with technical skills to facilitate this evolution. One team that must always be involved in how data is handled is the organisation’s IT department. They need to be aware of company goals and briefed on strategic decisions made as they will be the individuals who train staff on new software or programmes to help with data analysis and will likely have recommendations of their own. There is a variety of business software available to help automate processes, streamline workflow, analyse data and manage the working environment seamlessly. Furthermore, they allow for great internal communication and unparalleled data security.
Increase in remote working
More and more companies are allowing members of staff to work remotely, which means access to company documents needs to happen everywhere, from home to a tropical beach. Furthermore, smartphone, desktop, tablet and laptop usability all needs to be considered. With so many variables available, managing multiple workplaces and devices can be a weakness for some businesses that cyber criminals tap into. However, with the correct tools, working remotely is equally as safe as being in the office. Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription service that provides users with access to Microsoft Office applications and services over the internet. What makes it perfect for remote staff is that they can access anything they want, on any device, anywhere in the world.
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