Volumes of data handled by telcos are growing fast, and the pressure is on to minimise breaches. With the implementation of new general data protection regulation (GDPR) just one year away

Steve Martin, Data Protection Officer at Equifax, said “Mobile data traffic is set to increase seven-fold between 2016 and 2021,[1] and telcos need to work hard to ensure their defences can withstand attempted hacks. The one year countdown to the implementation of GDPR brings an even greater responsibility to ensure security is first class.

“A data breach under the regulation may result in heavy fines of up to either 4% of global revenue or 20 million euros, whichever is higher. The financial risk is significant to telco operators. Strategies need to be implemented to ensure appropriate management of data, including how it’s transferred, shared, stored and recovered. At the heart of the change is more transparency for consumers; companies must provide clear communication detailing how they manage and protect data from the outset. To avoid confusion, win consumers’ trust, and ensure data can continue to be used effectively, all parties in the data sharing chain need to work together to agree a common approach for privacy notices.

“The financial penalty for a breach is high, but telcos mustn’t lose sight of the benefits of GDPR. It brings an opportunity to improve the public’s understanding of how their information is used and kept safe, and their rights to access, control and correct information held on file. To ensure this is achieved, companies must strike the right balance between compliance and a consumer-friendly approach.”