nTrust systems always seek to add value for their clients, so for us it was perfectly natural to set about an education program on GDPR for all of our 150 clients.

In August 2017 we produced a free PDF GDPR Summary guide for anyone to download from our website, from September 2017 we started hosting free breakfast seminars in our board room at nTrust house in Redhill. Since then our MD Russ McKenzie has carried out over 12 speaking engagements on GDPR including the NEC, Excel and The Shard.

Our view is very much that this is a business project with ramifications for the IT, Legal and HR departments of your business, the extent of which varies enormously depending on your business. We originally thought businesses would be able to carry out their own GDPR project to ensure compliancy, however we have learnt that business managers and owners are just too busy to make progress and do need our help.

nTrust can assist in your GDPR data audit, creating a GDPR Data asset register and carrying out an IT Risk Assessment. This will robustly prepare you for the next stage, which is to engage with your legal and HR teams to create policies and processes towards compliancy.

To check for availability at our next GDPR breakfast briefing please see our most recent meeting announcements Here, and you can register for a meeting Here.

Why is Private Cloud so good for GDPR compliance?

Our Private Cloud Hosting solutions for your data storage and Applications are all GDPR compliant

What is GDPR and what are its implications?

The EU General Data Protection Regulation is to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union.

It was adopted on 27 April 2016 and is set to be enforced from 25 May 2018. It will take effect before we leave the EU and it is generally accepted that it will apply even after we leave the EU, indeed in February 2017, Matt Hancock MP, Minister for Digital & Culture, stated that the current plan is to incorporate the GDPR into UK law.

Decision makers and key people need to understand what impact the GDPR will have on their organisation. They need to identify areas that could cause compliance problems.

Which organisations are affected by the GDPR?

It will affect any organisation, whether inside or outside the EU, that holds personal data on EU citizens.

The new regulations affect all companies and organisations, regardless of size, including clubs and charities.

Serious breaches will result in fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher.

What is the GDPR definition of Personal Data?

The definition of personal data goes beyond the definition within the Data Protection Act and now includes any records containing a personal identifier. The FAQ page on the website defines personal data as

‘any information relating to a natural person or ‘Data Subject’ that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person. It can be anything from a name, an ID number, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer IP address.’

Examples of such data are HR records, membership records, contact details including lists of clients, customers, leads, patients and suppliers. The GDPR applies not only to personal data held electronically, but also to manual records.

Fines to make businesses sit up and take notice

Organisations that breach the regulations will face significant fines, certainly enough to harm and possibly be critical for the business.

The fines are daunting with a maximum of €20 million or 4% of annual turnover for the most serious breaches.

Organisations will be fined €10 million or 2% of annual turnover if their records are not in order (article 28), if they do not notify the supervising authority and data subject about a breach, or if they handle ‘sensitive data’ and have not conducted an impact assessment.

These rules apply to both controllers and processors – meaning that Cloud Providers will not be exempt from GDPR enforcement.

What is the ‘Accountability Principle’

The most significant addition to current legislation is the accountability principle. Companies must understand the risks that they create for others and mitigate those risks.

Companies need to build a culture of privacy throughout their entire organisation.

However small your business or practice, you must be able to show how you comply, not just that you comply.

Click here to download a full PDF copy of this guide

What businesses need to do to prepare for GDPR

Data Protection Officer (DPO)

Decide who will take responsibility for data protection compliance within your company and provide training if required.

Check whether you need to formally designate a Data Protection Officer – not all organisations will need to, although any organisation can do so.

Under the GDPR, the appointment of a DPO is mandatory for public authorities and in organisations where the core activities of data controllers and processors are the regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale, or of special categories of data, or data relating to criminal convictions and offences.
Whether or not you formally designate a DPO, you need to have sufficient staff and skills to comply with the GDPR.

Identify your lawful right

The next step is to check the regulations in order to identify and document your lawful basis for processing personal data.

Article 6 of the GDPR defines lawful reasons.One reason is if you have obtained verifiable, informed and freely given consent.

You may have other lawful reasons apart from consent.
In the case of business, a lawful reason would be ‘processing is necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject’ or ‘to take steps prior to entering into a contract’. Other lawful reasons include protecting the vital interests of a data subject (eg awareness of medical conditions) or for compliance with a legal obligation (eg accounting and taxation), or for the legitimate interests of the controller or a third party.

Define your data retention period

Once you have established your lawful right to process data, you will need to define how long you will keep the data for – either a method by which this is determined, or a specific term.

Update your Privacy information

Once you are clear on the above, it is important to update your business’s Privacy Policy and Notices.

GDPR gives EU citizens (data subjects) the ‘right to be informed’ which means that organisations must provide fair processing information in their Privacy Notice and be transparent about how they use personal data.
The potential fine for not doing so is €10 million or 2% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher.

Check whether you need to do a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)

Preparation of a DPIA is mandatory if you process data that is ‘likely to result in high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons’. As an example, it would be required if your organisation carries out evaluation, scoring or profiling of individuals.
The potential fine for not doing so is €10 million or 2% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher.

It is a mistake to think that the GDPR applies only to personal data held in a database . . . it applies to personal information contained, for example, in documents, spreadsheets and recorded phone calls, whether on or off-premises.

Understand the Rights of Individuals

There is a very clear article about individuals’ rights on the
Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website.

Have you determined how you will you seek, record and manage consent?
Have you a process for dealing with existing data for which you do not have consent?

The process needs to include the provision of a data set to an individual, as well as the deletion of an individual’s data from your all of your systems. The question of backups is a complex one that should also be considered.

Find more detail on ICO website 1. The right to be informed 2. The right of access 3. The right to rectification 4. The right to erasure 5. The right to restrict processing 6. The right to data portability 7. The right to object 8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

Document the data handling process

Organisations need to document where they store the data they hold, where it came from, who they share it with and what they do with it.

Organisations that fail to provide this documentation can be fined.

You may need to undertake an audit to identify your sources for data and consent information. Remember to include data that is provided by third parties, such as stakeholders and suppliers.

Obtain Consent for processing personal data

If you need consent in order to process personal data, you must be able to demonstrate that consent was knowingly given by the data subject. Consent cannot be gained from pre?ticked boxes, nor assumed because you have found details that were available in a public space, for example on social media or by picking up a business card.

You may have other lawful reasons apart from consent.

When requesting consent, you need to explain the purpose for data processing. Your request must be prominent, specific, in clear and plain language, easy to understand, easily accessible and distinguishable from other matters. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it. If you offer services directly to children, you will need to check your additional responsibilities under GDPR.
Be cautious about emailing existing contacts to request consent – there are companies that have been fined for doing so!

Mobile devices and flexible working

Your business data is at risk if anyone in your organisation stores business data on mobile devices such as phones, tablets and laptops, no matter whether these devices are business-owned or user-owned. It is best practice to store all business data on a central server, either on premises or on a private server in a secure datacentre.

This enables you to issue passwords so that individuals have access from their mobile devices only to the data that they need on the server. You will have the peace of mind that all the business data is in one place for complete and secure daily automated backup.

Do you need to give your workers guidance regarding using secured connections when accessing the internet?

Can you control and track the data that your staff shares on the internet via Dropbox, Box and similar?

GDPR IT Support can include; IT Governance GPDR, gdpr it, GDPR IT Requirements, IT Data Protection, GDPR IT impact, GDPR for Large Companies

Click here to download a copy of this guide

What staff need to know about the GDPR

Anyone who handles personal data has a responsibility to keep it secure and ensure that individual’s rights under GDPR are respected. The GDPR makes suggestions on security, which boil down to:

Ensure that data is secure – with access only to those who need it

Be able to restore data if you lose it

Test your security effectiveness regularly

Encrypt data where appropriate

Staff need to be aware of the significant fines for breaches that would put your business, and thereby their job, at risk.

Data Controllers and Data Processors

Under GDPR, both Data Controllers and Data Processors have statutory obligations and both will be held accountable for compliance.

If you own or hold data and determine the purposes and means of processing it, you are a Data Controller;

If you process or store data on behalf of the Controller you are a Data Processor.

Establish who all the Controllers and Processors in your business are – you may need to arrange training if required.

Data Processors can also be third parties, such as Cloud Service Providers that store your data. Third party examples are your online backup, as well as file sharing and syncing via the internet. You need to find out the country where this data is stored.

When to report a data breach

Any data breach that poses a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals must be reported to the ICO within 72 hours, and in some cases to the individuals affected. See the ICO website for more details.

Articles 31 and 32 of the GDPR cover this topic and the Article 29 Working party will produce guidelines in 2017.

Good practice for all staff

Be aware of and comply with company-defined processes and procedures;

Be alert to email and phishing scams – beware of clicking on links or opening files sent by unknown sources;

Use strong passwords and never write them down;

Never use unsecured public WIFI for accessing or uploading business files;

Never download personal business data for storage on your mobile device;

Use a secure file-sharing software in preference to emailing files containing personal data;

Use only file sharing software that has been approved by your organisation.

If you have shared inaccurate personal data with another organisation, you MUST follow your company’s process to inform the other organisation to correct its records.

You need to understand what constitutes a data breach and when such a breach must be reported.

Internal business processes that provide GDPR compliancy

To ensure compliance with the GDPR’s accountability principle, you need to show HOW you comply. This in turn means that you need to be absolutely clear about what personal data your organisation holds, where it came from, whom you share it with. You will also need to maintain records of all data processing activity.

You may want to re-think and change your whole approach to data protection and might use this opportunity to bring about positive outcomes for the business, building trust and improving efficiency. Here is a check list:

Identify where personal data is held

Implement procedures to tag and secure the data

The right to be forgotten: work out how personal data can be deleted if an individual asks for his/her records to be deleted from your systems – and create a policy for deletion of such data from data backups

The right to portability: plan how to handle requests for provision of data sets within GDPR timescales.

Have a process to ensure that any new systems are GDPR compliant prior to installation

Consider the ways in which your organisation operates and assess the risk impact

  • tighten up data security for mobile working – phones, laptops and tablets are frequently lost or stolen and if they hold business data, the business is put at risk;
  • if contractors or employees store or create business files on personal (non-business owned) devices, consider how your company backs up this data and ensures its confidentiality;
  • file sharing and/or backup – understand the software that is being used company-wide, if using Cloud services, find out which country is the data stored in, who owns the data, is there an audit trail, does the software include ransomware as standard?
  • cloud apps – how do you record all the apps that your employees use on the devices they use and how will you document what cloud storage are they using?

How IT can provide GDPR compliancy

To protect against the threat of cyber-attack, businesses need to treat their business data with the same care and attention as their business premises – Protect, Prevent, Prepare.


Equivalent to locking the doors of your building and installing an intruder alarm

Thoroughly assess all firewall and boundary settings;

Check that there is malware (antivirus) protection on every device owned by the business and ensure that it is robust and up to date;

Ensure that the latest supported version of all software is used and that all necessary patches are applied.


Equivalent to giving the keys only to those who need access

Ensure that systems are configured securely and in a way that is appropriate for the business;

Set access codes that allow you to control who has access to your data and at the appropriate level.


Just as you prepare for total loss of building contents, put measures in place to restore your business data if something goes wrong

Ensure that daily data backups are taken;

Know who to contact to instigate the restore process and understand how long it will take.

5 things that businesses can start right now to improve data security

  1. 1. Plan to achieve Cyber Essentials certification, the Government-backed scheme that demonstrates to your customers and stakeholders that you are serious about internet security
  2. 2. Use an IT System that is secure by design
    – encrypted connections between PCs and server
    – role-based access (only see/do what you need)
    – back-end personal data stored in a format that is not easy to read

  3. 3. Share business files securely and do not use ‘grey’ file sharing such as personal Dropbox, iCloud, etc
  4. 4. Check your back-ups – can you restore? Consider automated online backup
  5. 5. Educate your staff to use strong, unique passwords and to change them when necessary

Recent trends; eu gdpr fines, compliance regulations, gdpr passwords, gdpr guide, gdpr 2018, GDPR for Medium-sized Enterprises

nTrust Systems – experts in cyber protection for business

We offer

  • full-service IT provision covering servers, computers, phone, broadband, email, file sharing, website hosting, data backups and storage
  • advice and support to help you achieve Cyber Essentials certification
  • system audits to check for GDPR compliance
  • advice and monthly support to ensure GDPR compliance
  • remote monitoring of your systems and regular checking for alerts

Cyber Essentials

This is a self-signed security MOT, meaning that at a given time, your IT was secured to a known benchmark standard.

Usually there is some work involved in getting things to that standard, and then some more work in keeping people to that standard.

nTrust Systems helps businesses achieve Cyber Essentials certification.

Cyber Essentials Plus will be a natural progression after Cyber Essentials where organisations identify that further measures are needed.

Read more about Cyber Essentials

Hosted Desktop from nTrust Systems – secure by design

Employees can use their own devices to securely access data on a central server

Data is held in a secure Surrey Tier 3+ datacentre

Connection to the server is secured by SSL encryption

A hardware firewall limits access

Data is backed up to two discrete UK locations, so is always available

Virtual Private Network (VPN) back to your premises if required

Operating system patches are done overnight

Software updates are done centrally in one go at times to suit you

Hosted Desktop by nTrust Systems – data safety

Fully managed off-site IT

Daily data backup, encrypted at rest and in transit

Your business data is no longer stored on individual devices, reducing the business risk if those devices fail or are lost or stolen

nTrust Systems check the anti-virus / malware reports daily and take action if required

nTrust Systems perform quarterly restore tests

Read about nTrust Hosted Desktop

Call us for our next Hosted Desktop breakfast briefing to see a demo of hosted desktop, followed Q&A

nTrust Systems – experts in file sharing and sycing for business

nTrust Systems FileCloud

Secure sharing of business files

Businesses will increasingly be required to provide an audit trail for all personal data files that are shared with others.

Businesses should be asking where this shared information is stored and who owns it.

nTrust Systems FileCloud is file syncing and sharing software that gives complete peace of mind – it is a Cloud service on a private UK server with a full audit trail of whom you give access to.

Data is stored in a highly secure Surrey datacentre and only you own your data;

FileCloud has powerful built-in ransomware protection;

Your data is fully encrypted in storage.

Read about FileCloud

When to use data encryption and backup

What is encryption?

Electronic information is changed into a secret code that people cannot understand or use.

When should you use encryption?

Encryption in transit

  • Connecting to a server (web, email, remote desktop, file sharing) over a network so that other people on the network cannot see your data.

Encryption at rest

  • Backing up data to an online backup
  • Syncing data to a file sharing solution

Encrypted devices

  • Portable equipment (USB sticks or drives, storage on phones, laptops in general) should probably be encrypted, as they are easy to lose or steal

Encrypted data

  • Sensitive data managed by an application should be encrypted, so that it cannot be easily read. It should be difficult for people to deduce the encryption key

Should I encrypt everything to be safe?

If you like, but . . .

  • Take professional advice before doing so – it is important to get it right
  • If you lose your encryption key, you’ve lost the data
  • If you write the encryption key on a post-it note or the like, then it’s no longer a secret code

Our Private Cloud Hosting solutions are all GDPR compliant READ MORE

GDPR Action Checklist

Awareness Identify and involve key people
Data Protection Officer (DPO) Appoint someone to be responsible for compliance Act on their guidance
Lawful Basis for Processing Data Identify why you hold personal data and how long you will hold it for
Accountability Put on record how you comply with GDPR principles
Privacy Information What changes need to be made to your Privacy Policy to comply with the GDPR? How will these changes be publicised?
Information Describe the data and basis for holding it, eg for: Employees Customers Suppliers Stakeholders Identify data partners: Who do we get data from? Who do we send data to?
Individual Rights Understand the new rights of individuals Ensure Privacy by Design
How do you obtain consent?
How do you erase records/delete data?
Subject Access Requests Where do you look for data? How quickly can you respond?
Consent Do you have clear, opted-in permission to hold and use this data?
Children Do you hold children’s data and, if so, do you understand the new requirements?
Data Breaches Understand what a breach is Report breaches to the ICO within 72 hours Understand when to report breaches to data subjects
Data Protection by Design Understand what data your systems store Understand how your systems store data Understand where suppliers’ responsibilities end Understand data partners’ processes & use of data Fix any identified gaps in your protection of data
International If you operate in more than one EU state, identify your data protection Supervisory Authority.

Why is Private Cloud so good for GDPR compliance?

Our Private Cloud Hosting solutions for your data storage and Applications are all GDPR compliant

Click here to download a copy of this guide