Brexit and GDPR | How Does This Affect Your Enterprise?

Brexit and GDPR | How Does This Affect Your Enterprise?

With COVID-19 hysteria subsiding and many European countries easing lockdown measures, life is, slowly but surely, returning to a relative normal.

While the post-COVID future is still somewhat uncertain, businesses in the UK need to start thinking of Brexit once again. 

You may have recently read our post on GDPR, turning two this year. As highlighted in that post, GDPR was designed primarily to standardize data protection rules across the EU, as well as improve data rights and make data collection more transparent. 

So those enterprises that thought Brexit was going to save them from the GDPR, need to think again. Any enterprise that trades with European member states and possesses information on EU citizens will be affected.

The UK was a driving force and one of the leading architects behind the GDPR.

As such, the UK has already agreed that GDPR will be absorbed into UK domestic law as part of the European (Withdrawal) Agreement. Both GDPR and the UK’s existing Data Protection Act 2018 will work to rule on data cases.

Now that GDPR is well and truly in effect and changes from Brexit approaching, compliant and secure enterprise messaging apps are now a must for organisations with a remote workforce that wish to keep doing business in Europe.

What do the numbers say?

A recent survey by 4sl, to over 200 IT decision-makers in the UK, found:

  • 61% were specifically concerned about their ability to back-up data held in the EU. 
  • 60% were worried about their ability to transfer data from the EU to the UK post-Brexit.
  • 59 % of enterprises worry that the time and money they have put into preparing for Brexit will be wasted.
  • 55% did not know how Brexit would affect their disaster recovery processes.
  • 43% had made preparations but had not yet put them into effect. 

The data was taken only a few months before the world knew about COVID-19, so it is safe to assume that these numbers have not improved over the last few months. 

Adopting Compliance

Enterprises with business in the EU need to protect the data of their customers and employees. Organisations must act now, protect their data, and ditch the idea that social media platforms can be a quick fix solution. 

The adoption of smartphones and the use of consumer-grade apps in the workplace has led enterprises to be vulnerable to security risks. These apps lack the physical and technical safeguards necessary for enterprise communication. 

Popular consumer messaging apps like WhatsApp or Zoom and even Slack, lack admin capabilities or do not offer clear and concise privacy policies. With these and many other apps, enterprises cannot be sure third parties will not view their data, nor can they be sure what then happens to their data.

Adopt a secure chat solution for companies, like Messagenius, that is GDPR compliant by design

What are the risks?

The Adequacy Agreement is put in place to ensure that the data of EU individuals is protected even if transferred outside of the jurisdiction of the EEA.

Should the UK not be able to agree on terms with the EU, it will fall under a ‘third country’ status, a classification given to those countries outside of the EU/EEA. This ensures these countries follow strict laws that provide the same standard of data protection. 

The UK government will most certainly look to create an adequacy agreement with the EU. However, this can only occur once the UK leaves the bloc officially. 

From a GDPR perspective, should an adequacy agreement not be found before the Withdrawal Agreement ends, an organisation without secure chat solutions for companies, will have a lot of hard work in front of them to stay compliant.  

In order to transfer and store EU customer data, including external employees living in the EU, there will be a strict set of guidelines that will need to be met. These changes will mean significant changes for enterprises in the UK.

Speaking at the GDPR Summit Roadmap for Sales and Marketing, Chris Combemale, Group CEO of the Data and Marketing Association, said: 

“The GDPR has been implemented in the UK via the Data Protection Act 2018, which will remain the law in the UK. However, without an adequacy agreement in place, UK businesses and other organisations would need to find an alternative route to retain the free flow of data with the EU. We believe the UK cannot retain its position as a global leader in data, technology, and marketing if we do not have an Adequacy deal on future data flows with Europe.”

Inaction and uncertainty

Due to ongoing and widespread ambiguity on what the world will look like post-COVID, and the misinformation and disorganisation around Brexit, enterprises are unsure of what steps to take to stay compliant. 

Without secure chat solutions for companies, enterprises risk falling short of meeting regulations or failures of critical functions. 

But is it too late to prepare? Absolutely not.

With Messagenius, there are no third parties involved, no one has access to the data and communications, and so our clients are fully GDPR compliant. 

Learn more about how Messagenius can help your enterprise become secure and compliant. 

Taking the next steps

A good start for enterprises is understanding their data flows, where processing is performed, and where data is stored. It is time enterprises also learn to understand what legal, technical, and operational provisions they need to continue transferring data.  

Secondly, enterprises need to come to terms with the fact that messaging apps do much more than just text messaging. Enterprise-grade apps offer much more robust functionalities, including allowing the sharing of comprehensive data such as pictures, voice messages, videos, and location information. 

With all this data flowing throughout enterprises, it is fundamental that organisations provide highly secure, reliable, centrally managed and controlled messaging apps to meet the required standards of data protection and security. 

Messagenius is an enterprise-grade messaging solution that combines collaboration, productivity, security, and compliance, in one simple to integrate app.

Enterprises that have chosen to prepare now will be in the best possible position for the future.

It’s time to get on board secure chat solutions for companies. Do not wait any longer and get ahead of the Brexit compliance race with Messagenius today.