Infosec firm Ward Solutions invests €300,000 in new GDPR practice

10 Aug 2017

From left: CEO Pat Larkin with CTO Paul Hogan, Ward Solutions. Image: Philip Leonard/Leonard Photography

Preparing for GDPR is going to be big business, it seems.

IT security firm Ward Solutions is investing €300,000 in a new consultancy business focused on helping firms navigate the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

On 25 May 2018, all businesses and organisations across Europe that handle customer data will have to comply with GDPR.

‘Demand for this service is so high that 15 of our experienced data privacy consultants are now working solely on GDPR’

Future Human

GDPR is an overhaul of European data protection laws and could impact every business, individual and member of public sector organisations across Europe.

Some organisations – especially those in the public sector – will have to appoint data protection officers.

Failure to comply could lead to fines of up to €20m, or 4pc of annual turnover.

Is your organisation compliant with GDPR?

In anticipation of the work organisations will need to put in to prepare for GDPR, Ward Solutions has established a dedicated team of 15 consultants to deliver the service. It is forecasting that it will generate €500,000 in new revenue from this service in the first 12 months.

The company’s consultancy team has attained GDPR-specific certifications, such as the Certified Data Protection Practitioner from ICS Skills, the EU General Data Protection Regulation Certificate from the International Board for IT Governance, and the Certificate in Data Protection Practice from the Law Society of Ireland.

Ward Solutions’ data protection officer service will give organisations access to an information security privacy specialist, who will provide expert knowledge of GDPR and data privacy best practice, and oversee the implementation of GDPR throughout the organisation.

“With GDPR looming on the horizon, there are huge fines in play for any organisation that fails to demonstrate compliance,” said company CTO Paul Hogan.

“This new GDPR consultancy service from Ward Solutions will enable Irish companies to identify what personal data they are processing, where it is located and what their legal justifications for processing are.

“This will allow organisations to establish whether or not the manner in which they process personal data is compliant with GDPR. Ward can also deliver a data protection programme to address any shortcomings, and put the necessary governance and accountability structures in place to enable organisations to achieve and demonstrate compliance.

“Demand for this service is so high that 15 of our experienced data privacy consultants are now working solely on GDPR, and will be continuing to do so for the foreseeable future. We are forecasting new revenues of €500,000 from this service alone, which will have an enormously positive effect on the company on the whole,” Hogan said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years