Data Privacy and Protection Audit, otherwise known as DPAudit, is born from the growing need for organisations to have an independent evaluation of how compliant-ready their organisations are against the GDPR standard and other related regulations including their own data protection policies.
Many companies tend to intermix the terms “Audit” and “Assessment”. But there is a difference. By definition, an Audit is:
“A systematic and independent examination to determine whether activities involving the processing of personal data are carried out in accordance with an organisation’s data protection policies and procedures, and whether this processing meets the requirements of the GDPR, ePrivacy or other regulations and national Data Protection laws”.
By contrast, an assessment uses a set of concepts, principles and flexible framework with the objective to determine why a company has chosen to do things in a certain way and what other options are considered to meet a set of requirements.
Our Team of experienced Data Protection and Privacy auditors use a proven methodology in an efficient and transparent manner, with the focus of providing clear results so that you and your organisation can provide the required proof to your stakeholders and determine areas for improvement.
Key benefits of a GDPR Audit
1. Guidance and benchmarking
An audit should be seen as an aid to the organisation concerned in ensuring that its data processing operations are conducted in compliance with the provisions of GDPR.
An audit report is produced, conclusions and findings are outlined and recommendations issued based on an examination of all key areas within the defined scope.
2. Reassurance that GDPR is well implemented
You may have executed a GDPR Assessment and implemented a GDPR program to address the gaps identified. In doing so, – processes will probably have been defined and controls put in place.
For many organisations, the question still remains: “Is this program sufficient and have the data privacy and data protection practices truly been adopted by your organisation? Performing a Data Privacy & Data Protection Audit will address this uncertainty in an efficient and cost effective manner and will provide the comfort of understanding where you are and what’s left to do.
3. Risk Mitigation
GDPR is all about a risk-based approach. In some cases, gaps can be overlooked or not be implemented correctly. This can potentially lead to a data breach, the inability to fulfil requests (e.g. rights of the data subjects), customer complaints, distrust, or even legal consequences.
Performing a Data Protection Audit (on a regular basis) will not only surface hidden and new risks, but also provide insight into why they have not been mitigated.
4. Creating a baseline for improvement
An audit provides a marker in time or “baseline” as to where an organisation is in terms of GDPR and other related regulations.
Findings contained in the final audit report offer a documented and practical starting point for change and improvement.
5. Compliance with latest regulations and beyond
Like the information environment in which you and your organisation interact with each day, GDPR is not static. New regulations are imposed, security risks discovered and clarifications such as case law, etc., are published regularly to further refine the boundaries of GDPR.
Nevertheless, addressing all of these topics at the same time can be a challenge. That’s why a Data Protection audit can provide you with insight into which regulation, risk, clarification,… has not been implemented yet.
6. Policy Work
Issues and findings arising from audits can directly influence the future agenda and policy work of the DPO.
New audit targets, policy areas requiring further investigation and the need for new or updated guidance on particular topics, may all be identified on foot of audit outcomes.
7. Raising Awareness
A compliance audit aims to gauge the level of awareness of data protection generally within the organisation. This has a positive effect as organisations that demonstrate senior management commitment to data protection compliance have consistently been shown to have the best data protection compliance records.
In addition to the Audit findings, the audit process serves to increase organisational awareness of data protection. In this way, compliance audits reinforce the ‘educational’ as opposed to ‘punitive’ overall approach.
Who we are
The DP Audit international network consists of a team of expert Auditors.
Based in Brussels but serving customers across the Benelux, UK and Ireland, all members are certified and experienced DPOs.
Each member has hands-on experience across the strategic, tactical and operational layers of the small and larger organisations and across different industries. They are also active in many of the major certification bodies and conferences as lecturers and thought leaders.
What makes us different?
In the absence of a formal EU GDPR Certification today, we distinguish ourselves by:
- Applying a systematic and proven approach
- Having qualified and experienced Auditors who also have successfully implemented several GDPR programs
- Being independent auditors who have received relevant training and certifications
- Conducting audits in accordance with a documented audit procedure
- Producing a clear documented Audit Report
- Working closely with the different data privacy authorities