Why are data protection audits so important?

Are you concerned that there may be areas of non-compliance in your organisation, but are not sure where to start in establishing what these are and where they are occurring? It might be a good time to think about a data protection audit.

A data protection audit is a great tool to help identify what your organisation is doing well and what it could do better. Audits can take a number of forms, for example, they may be paper based, looking at policies, procedures and templates or include interviews with staff, to get an idea of the processes your organisation has in place and the level of understanding of data protection requirements.

An audit can look at an organisation’s overall compliance or focus on a specific area, such as marketing or employee data.

The end result should be a report which identifies and rates compliance risks; this will help you to prioritise areas of higher risk within the organisation and develop a plan of mitigation to improve compliance in these areas. With improved compliance comes a reduced risk of regulatory action and should increase confidence within your organisation that you are handling personal data in a compliant way.

As well as identifying risks within the organisation, by doing data protection audits on a regular basis, you will be able to demonstrate what you are doing to address those risks and show data protection regulators that you take your obligations seriously.

An external audit is a good way to get an independent view of an organisation’s data protection compliance from people who know what questions to ask and what the data protection risks are. If you would like more information about how we can assist in undertaking data protection audits, please get in touch here.


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