Practical guidance to successfully protect your data


By 25th May 2018, all companies that collect data on individuals within the European Union will need to be compliant with The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

GDPR requires protection for all personal data, placing equal liability on data controllers (i.e. the firm that ‘owns’ the data) and data processors (i.e. suppliers that help manage / process that data). In our digital age, this means that liability extends to cloud, digital service providers and any other suppliers supporting data management.

All firms need to know where data is held for each individual, and ensure that that the collection, storage and processing of that data meets the requirements of GDPR. A failure to do so could result in prosecution and fines of up to 20 million Euros, or 4% of the firm’s global turnover (whichever is greater).

Huntswood can assist firms to prepare by reviewing the adequacy of the firm’s controls in respect of 12 core areas, previously highlighted by the Information Commissioner’s Office in their guidance to GDPR preparedness, summarised below;

1. Awareness

You should make sure that decision makers and key people in your organisation are aware that the law is changing to the GDPR. They need to appreciate the impact this is likely to have.

2. Information you hold

You should document what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with. You may need to organise an information audit.

3. Communicating privacy information

You should review your current privacy notices and put a plan in place for making any necessary changes in time for GDPR implementation.

4. Individuals’ rights

You should check your procedures to ensure they cover all the rights individuals have, including how you would delete personal data or provide data electronically and in a commonly used format.

5. Subject access requests

You should update your procedures and plan how you will handle requests within the new timescales and provide any additional information.

6. Lawful basis for processing personal data

You should identify the lawful basis for your processing activity in the GDPR, document it and update your privacy notice to explain it.


You should review how you seek, record and manage consent and whether you need to make any changes. Refresh existing consents now if they don’t meet the GDPR standard.


You should start thinking now about whether you need to put systems in place to verify individuals’ ages and to obtain parental or guardian consent for any data processing activity.

9. Data breaches

You should make sure you have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.

10. Data Protection by Design and Data Protection Impact Assessments

You should familiarise yourself now with the ICO’s code of practice on Privacy Impact Assessments as well as the latest guidance from the Article 29 Working Party, and work out how and when to implement them in your organisation.

11. Data Protection Officers

You should designate someone to take responsibility for data protection compliance and assess where this role will sit within your organisation’s structure and governance arrangements. You should consider whether you are required to formally designate a Data Protection Officer.

12. International

If your organisation operates in more than one EU member state (i.e. you carry out cross-border processing), you should determine your lead data protection supervisory authority. Article 29 Working Party guidelines will help you do this.

Huntswood’s team of experienced Information Security Officers, specialist practitioners and consultants have a long history of supporting clients with regulatory change and mitigating the risks it presents to their business and customers. We regularly provide our advisory expertise to support our clients’ GDPR programmes, ensuring implementation plans are robust. We also source data experts on an interim or permanent basis to support and advise on GDPR compliance programmes. 

Inadequate GDPR control models can cause future compliance issues for firms, and are likely to make it a challenge for firms to collect, store and process personal data.

In contrast, effective GDPR arrangements will provide customers with confidence and an improved experience, enabling the firm to be more competitive.

Key Benefits

  • An approach designed around your firm’s specific needs or assurance over your firm’s planned approach and implementation plan
  • Reduce your firm’s exposure to the risks associated with non-compliance (e.g. regulatory fines)
  • High quality specialist resource embedded quickly into your programme to drive delivery

Why Huntswood

Applying regulatory, commercial and operational knowledge to enhance firms’ approach

Practical GDPR preparedness support that reflects business needs, without creating unnecessary complexity or cost

Tailored solution – able to support on all aspects or specific elements as required