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The True Cost of Data Non-Compliance

  For many years now, people have talked about the importance of data. It has been argued that due to the insight


For many years now, people have talked about the importance of data. It has been argued that due to the insight and knowledge that can be taken from it, data has now become more valuable than oil.

Nowhere is this more obvious than within large organisations, who can hold TBs of unstructured data (data that does not have a pre-determined model) of their customers and employees.

The increased value of the data has meant that governments are establishing their own data protection laws such as GDPR, FOIA, CCPA & Mifid which can come at a great cost for organisations if found to be in breach of these laws.

In today’s blog, we delve into the true costs involved in data non-compliance, both financial and non-financial.

Regulatory Fines

When people think of the cost of regulatory non-compliance, the first thing that comes to the mind is the large GDPR fines of 20 million euros or 4% of annual revenue.

There have been many high-profile companies being hit with these fines including Google (€50 million), British Airways (€204 million euros) and the Marriot Hotel Group (€110 million).

But what can be lost in all this talk of regulatory fines and what many of the GDPR led articles you read don’t speak about, are the other costs that your company could potentially face along the way to data compliance.

Cost of Diagnosing a Problem

Once you are notified of a data breach, the first thing many companies must do is begin the search for more potential violations to avoid future fines.

For many SMEs, the resources have not been put in place to undertake such a job. For these organisations, a large amount of money and time must be spent to protect them from future data violations.

The amount of time is also a huge factor in this investigation. One study found, 1TB of unstructured data can take up to 9 months to fully investigate internally.

Reputational Cost

These days, if a company experiences a data breach, it is only a matter of time before it becomes public knowledge. The true cost of data compliance can come down to the negative effect that breach investigations and potential fines on a company’s reputation.

On a recent study of thousands of consumers, “82% of UK respondents claim they would boycott a company that demonstrated they have no regard for protecting customer data”.

So, while your company may have the financial security to pay the fines that are thrown at them, they may never fully recover from the damage that will be done to their organisational reputation as a result of these fines. Though it is hard to quantify the cost of reputational damage, it definitely impacts a companies bottom line.

Due to the increased media interest, you won’t find many of your customers who are not aware of GDPR.

The same study also showed that 80% of consumers worried most about the financial information held by banks and other financial institutions such as building societies and credit unions.

How We Can Help

It’s clear from above that there are huge costs attached to data non-compliance. Data exposure can have long term effects that don’t always have an obvious price tag, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important.

Many organisations already have tools in place to manage the consumer information stored in their business systems. However, when data is sent or received in email or is extracted from a database and saved in spreadsheets, documents or other files, organisations typically lose control over it. Companies need to start taking the extra steps to protect their customers’ information before an incident occurs.

Waterford Technologies is a pro-active Email and File Compliance and Management focused solutions provider. We have vast experience in helping our clients meet their compliance requirements, reducing risk, and addressing eDiscovery requests easily, quickly and successfully.

Some of the areas we can help in include:

· Governance – Pro-active approach to data transparency by classifying unstructured data before archiving.

· Compliance – Preventative monitoring of email internally & externally to identify & remediate risk.

· Investigate – Advanced eDiscovery, FOIA, & DSAR with keyword search.

· Identify – Identify sensitive credit card information in your email data (for PCI Compliance)

· Increase efficiency by automating data management.

· Delete, apply retention policies, apply legal hold and apply access block capabilities.

· Ensure you have a detailed audit trailing and reporting to satisfy and demonstrate strict regulatory standards.

For more information on our products, contact one of our sales staff or sign up for a free demonstration of our software.

Or for more information on how Waterford Technologies can help, download our most recent leaflet on how to de-risk your email and file data now….not later.


James Brennan,

Marketing Executive

Waterford Technologies