Why GDPR Matters to the Growth of Your MSP Business

There’s a market growth opportunity for MSPs and VARs to help firms become and remain in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the European Union. GDPR data compliance has become somewhat of an issue for firms with EU citizens on their client lists.

In essence, GDPR is about data security; keeping the sensitive data of a company’s user data secure. As we know, that’s becoming more and more difficult as cybercriminals become sophisticated and more aggressive. In fact, 73 percent of enterprises in the U.S. have experienced a data breach, according to 451 Research.

The opportunity is there for savvy MSPs and VARs to provide solutions for highly motivated firms to secure their networks and avoid the penalties of GDPR.

GDPR Applies to the SMB Market – Here’s How

gdpr msp smb opportunity

GDPR applies to you or your customers if you have personal information of a citizen of the European Union. More than half (52 percent) of U.S. businesses fall into that category of compliance with GDPR, revealed a recent study by Vanson Bourne.

We’ve heard of large targets like Facebook and Google being sued for not adhering to GDPR’s tenets but keep in mind SMBs (firms with fewer than 250 employees) are subject to GDPR as well. GDPR does make allowances for SMBs by loosening the regulation for tracking the processing of data. Most firms have to track all processing of data related to EU citizens. SMBs don’t, unless the lack of tracking will affect the rights and freedoms of the user. More on that here.

One of the biggest challenges for SMB/mid-market companies is a lack of knowledge about who is on their databases. This makes many firms unsure whether GDPR applies to them.  Yet once firms of this size understand what’s at stake, they’re willing to take action to avoid penalties. Of the mid-sized firms that are aware of GDPR, 55 percent are willing to take steps to comply with the regulation, according to a recent report by IDC. This means they’re open to solutions that help them along the road to data security and data usage tracking.

Why You’re the Missing Link in GDPR Compliance for Many Firms

msp missing link gdpr compliance

You may be wondering, what are the rules with GDPR? There are a few aspects of the regulation that make it difficult to achieve 100 percent compliance and avoid fines. Without the help of an IT solution provider, many companies have enough exposure to warrant a possible fine. This is a quick breakdown of the tenets of GDPR:

  • Notify users of a breach within 72 hours: This gets tricky for many companies because it takes them, on average, 180 days to realize their network has been breached.

    Solutions: IDS and IPS
    Intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) are great GDPR-related solutions in this case.

  • Ability to give and remove consent to use data: Terms of use must be simple to understand, says GDPR. Users also must have the right to quickly and easily remove consent for their data to be used in ways they don’t agree with. (Note: This is where Google and Facebook are exposed to GDPR violations.) 
  • Right to access: Under GDPR users have the right to know where their data is and how it’s being used at all times.
  • Right to be forgotten: If a user requests to have their data removed from a company’s systems, firms must erase, stop any distribution, and cease processing of the user’s data. For larger enterprises, this can be the equivalent of stopping a large tanker ship within a few feet. It just isn’t possible, without assistance.

    Solution: Data Forensics and Auditing
    For all three of these portions of GDPR, data forensics and auditing provide the opportunity to prove best efforts in compliance with the regulation. Here’s why: Many companies have a hard time knowing where user data is, especially with the expansion of third-party cloud applications. Data forensics and auditing streamline tracking of user data and provides a neat trail in the event a firm needs to prove compliance.

  • Data portability: The user has the right to request a record of the usage of their data in an easy-to-access format (usually a .csv, .xls, or .txt data processing file) and the firm must transfer the data to another company if the user requests it.
  • Privacy by design: Firms have to prove that they’re only handling user data for specific business purposes and preventing access to data unless it’s necessary to completing business-related efforts.

    Solution: Self-Service Data Portals
    Depending on the customer and their potential exposure to GDPR penalties, a self-service portal for users to access data history at a moment’s notice could be a profitable solution for your firm to offer.

Now that we’ve taken a look at GDPR rules overall and the possible technology solutions to help with compliance, it’s time to understand which industries hold the most exposure to GDPR penalties. This makes them candidates for the solutions we just mentioned. 

Industries in Most Need of Help with GDPR Compliance

what industries need gdpr help from a msp

The industries at the highest risk of a breach are the most apparent targets for GDPR compliance assistance. At the top of the list is healthcare if we’re using breach potential as a part of the criteria.

There are other industries that are a greater risk that others in the area of user data management because of the complex structure of their organizations and the amount of areas a user’s data can show up. The financial services industry checks all the boxes for those vulnerabilities.

Both industries, healthcare and finance, already understand solutions selling to attain compliance with regulations. The sales conversation around added solutions to avoid GDPR fines can take a similar journey if you’ve already successfully sold a HIPAA or FFIEC compliance solution. 

Next Steps in Offering GDPR Compliance Solutions

next steps gdpr compliance

There’s a solid opportunity here for a packaged GDPR offering that’s specific to high-exposure industries listed above. A packaged solution is easier for clients to understand, easier to market, and easier to scale. By combining IDS, IPS, and data forensics and auditing under one solution, you give customers the peace of mind that they’re shoring up potential vulnerabilities to fines from GDPR.

As you explore this option, consider reaching out to us for assistance. Presh Marketing Solutions provides the resources you need to develop lead generating digital marketing campaigns for your MSP or VAR business. Let’s discuss ways we can work together to help you reach your goals.

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