Category Archives: Market Intelligence

GDPR 8 – Security

Today’s guest post is from Tony Bridger, an experienced provider of Procurement Consulting and Spend Analysis services across the Commonwealth (as well as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt) who has been delivering value across continents for two decades. He is currently President of UK-based TrainingWorx Ltd, a provider of a wide range of Procurement and Analytic business training programs (inc. GDPR, spend analysis, project management, process improvement, etc.) and focussed short-term consulting solutions. Tony can be contacted at tony.bridger@data-trainingworx.co.uk.

One of the key changes in the GDPR is around the clauses and legal framework that surrounds the processing of personal data.

We will cover this in some detail in the next post (although we did hint at this one!). However, please bear with us as we also have to address cyber security to complete the background for displaying the processing requirements. Security will be a key component of the overall legal framework.

One of the key requirements in processing data is the cyber security that surrounds managing this type of information. The UK Supervisory Authority, the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) issues a wide ranging, practical advice for companies on their website. Given that many procurement analytics providers are now mature IT companies, many will have little to do cyber security wise. Many companies (including high volume email suppliers) have certified to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-U.S Privacy Shield Framework. This is an excellent start as we have mentioned previously. The cost of doing this is comparatively small – and we understand that many small US companies have managed to achieve this – around 3000 software enterprises.

On a broader security level, the ICO recommends that companies implement at least the ten steps to Cyber Security model. This can be found on their website. For much smaller UK based data companies, they can achieve Cyber Security Essentials plus certification. This is around $400 USD.

However, it is highly likely that many web analytics provider security arrangements are already in place and exceed the basics. Logically, it may be worth pursuing ISO 27001 accreditation or higher. Like most certification, it can become an expensive and a time-consuming exercise. Many large suppliers may already have CCMv3 (Cloud Controls Matrix), NIST CSF (National Institute of Standards and Technology Cyber Security Framework) or PAS 555.

Is it really worth it? If we had a crystal ball, companies both within and outside of the European arena will come under increasing pressure to prove these controls are in place – and standards are likely to become a key selling point for winning European business. To that end – it is going to be part of the cost of doing business. The alternative is a breach and investigation. Cyber criminals have all the key attack elements in their favour – a confirmed breach could become a costly and damaging PR disaster.

Once vendors combine cyber controls and certification with the extensive legal requirements, it is likely to become a major differentiation point between suppliers. Question is … are vendors ready?

GDPR: What is Required of Processors / Controllers? (Part VII)

Today’s guest post is from Tony Bridger, an experienced provider of Procurement Consulting and Spend Analysis services across the Commonwealth (as well as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt) who has been delivering value across continents for two decades. He is currently President of UK-based TrainingWorx Ltd, a provider of a wide range of Procurement and Analytic business training programs (inc. GDPR, spend analysis, project management, process improvement, etc.) and focussed short-term consulting solutions. Tony can be contacted at tony.bridger@data-trainingworx.co.uk.

In our last article we noted that a key concept under GDPR (with respect to any data that potentially contains data that could identify an individual person) is the difference between a controller and processor, and what requirements are placed on each. Generally speaking, a spend analytics (service) provider will be a processor and may meet the requirements of a controller (and may not). [It all depends upon whether the customer provides them an ability to determine the purpose and/or means of data processing. In most cases, the provider will have some leeway and will be a controller as well.]

So, what does the regulation require of a processor/controller?

The first fundamental change is around where either the controller or the processor is not established within the Union.

In this case, suppliers will need to designate in writing a representative within the European Union.

“The representative shall be mandated to be addressed by supervisory authorities and data subjects for the purposes of the Regulation. Designation of a representative does not absolve controller or processor from legal liabilities”.

Simply, it means if you are outside of the EU, and you process any personal data that originates from within the EU area, you must have a representative within Europe.

This creates a range of issues as it may well imply that any provider that services data from multiple countries may require multiple representatives. It is likely that multiple representatives may be required as each supervisory authority within each European Country may require a representative.

However, given the volume of suppliers that are involved in managing and processing personal data outside of the European Union for EU clients, how well Supervisory Authorities can manage and track these volumes of suppliers is questionable. However, the fundamental shift in the regulation is that legally, suppliers must now declare that presence. If there are data breach problems later, and an investigation is required, it may well generate a much wide range of breach elements. Like unpicking the thread on a sweater, the Supervisory Authority has wide ranging investigative powers.

For those that opt to process or control personal data from the European-Union, the new Regulations contain a suite of additional procedural requirements. We will start to cover these elements in the next article. However, if you are unsure around the legal elements, as we have said on several occasions, we suggest you consult a Legal firm who specialises in the Regulations.

Thanks, Tony.

GDPR: Are you a Controller or a Processor (Part VI)

Today’s guest post is from Tony Bridger, an experienced provider of Procurement Consulting and Spend Analysis services across the Commonwealth (as well as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt) who has been delivering value across continents for two decades. He is currently President of UK-based TrainingWorx Ltd, a provider of a wide range of Procurement and Analytic business training programs (inc. GDPR, spend analysis, project management, process improvement, etc.) and focussed short-term consulting solutions. Tony can be contacted at tony.bridger@data-trainingworx.co.uk.

It was Glen Hoddle (English Soccer player) that wrote:

“I have a number of alternatives, and each one gives me something different”.

For many spend analysis providers (or other procurement tools providers) and their clients that manage personal data, the alternative may be simply to change nothing technically – and keep going with the status quo. In effect, implement the requirements of the GDPR regulations.

Like most alternatives there are trade-offs. If eliminating personal data is practicable – then that may be the first viable alternative for suppliers. However, leaving the process as-is and implementing the EU required controls may be the better option longer term.

However, there are several key changes required by 25th May. To be GDPR compliant requires those controls to be in place prior to that date.

The key concept in this article is ensuring that analytics suppliers understand the difference between a controller and processor. For commercial data that contains no personal data, this concept is inapplicable and no further action is required.

Under GDPR, the controller means:

“ … the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.”

In most cases, the controller will simply be the client.

After all, they will supply the data and direct what they want to happen with those transactions.

The processor is defined as:

“ … a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller.”

To all intents and purposes, most spend analytics providers within (and external) to the EU may be either a controller or provider (or both).

For companies that use serviced systems outside of the EU, providers are therefore processors. Being outside of the EU creates a number of key criteria that need to be met for compliance.

There is also a very clear definition in the Regulation about what constitutes processing:

“ … It means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.”

Therefore, by default, any serviced analytics provider generically meets the definition.

So, what does this mean? Come back tomorrow for out next installment!

Thanks, Tony.

One Thousand One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago Today

A copy of the Chinese version of the Diamond Sutra was dated (before, at some point being lost to history until their rediscovery in in the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang on June 25, 1900.)

So why do we care about an old book?

First of all, it’s the oldest known dated book in existence, at least 585 years before Gutenberg printed his first bible. Because, even though the invention of the printing press was attributed to Gutenberg, he was just the first person to create a press out of metal. Woodblock printing was developed in China approximately 1200 years before Gutenberg developed his press, with examples of woodblock-based cloth printing dated back to pre 220 AD and the earliest examples of woodblock-based text-printing dating back to the Tang dynasty in the 600s. However, books were not dated at that time, making the Diamond Sutra, from 868 AD the first dated book.

However, it’s not just relevant to us that this was the first dated book, which is quite relevant to copyright and legal systems — that now use dates to determine inventorship, ownership, and so on — and to those of us that want to understand the origination of a work.

What’s really relevant to us is that accompanying the date was a dedication that said “for universal free distribution”, making it the first known creative work with an explicit public domain dedication. It seems that formally dedicating work to the public domain to ensure it’s continued free usage may not be as recent an occurrence as we may think.

And its another example of just how rich and innovative the cultures of the east have been over time, and why we should learn all we can instead of putting up trade barriers.