Firms warned to avoid being barred from tendering by poor GDPR planning

By HBP Systems Ltd | Posted: 24 Apr 2018

It’s now exactly a month until GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation – goes live on May 25th, and once it does the need for better data security will take a higher profile on the business agenda.

And that means companies could be stumbling towards financial losses by not putting the right IT security measures in place.

That’s the warning being given by Humber region IT specialists HBP Systems to companies which could be prevented from bidding for potentially lucrative tenders because they haven’t taken the right steps to protect their data.

The company’s Cyber & Network Specialist Darren Jacklin explained: “There is a growing tendency for companies seeking suppliers for large tenders to ask for minimum certification of data protection measures as part of the tender process. Companies without the right accreditation in place can be denied the chance to bid, losing major opportunities as a result. We know of a company unable to bid for work worth about £30m for exactly that reason.”

Darren explained that the emerging standard for data protection was to secure accreditation under the government’s Cyber Essentials programme.

“Cyber Essentials provides a common standard for the status of cyber and data security within a company. It’s a certification that you have to maintain every year, so it’s an accreditation that can be relied upon as an industry standard,” he said. “This is already happening. Once GDPR is in place, holding Cyber Essentials certification will be a simple and visible marker to indicate how seriously a company takes its cyber security.”

He added: “Firstly, potential clients can see a real commitment to the spirit, as well as the letter, of the regulation. It’s an indication that they’re dealing with a company that pays attention to the details. Also, it means a data breach is less likely to occur because of the protocols and rules in place.”

As an IT specialist supporting more than 600 clients in the Humber region, HBP Systems finds it is increasingly being asked to certify businesses, says Darren. “A handful of our own clients have also asked if we hold Cyber Essentials certification, which we naturally do,” he added.

HBP Systems can establish or maintain Cyber Essentials for client companies as part of a framework of cyber security, said Darren. “We’ve developed a Security Framework which takes things a step beyond software solutions. Whilst deploying the right security software is vital, the set up and ongoing maintenance of a client’s system is equally important, because without it they could still be very vulnerable. Our security framework ensures that your network is set up correctly for all staff, policies are put in place to prioritise security, and staff training is provided to ensure every area is covered.

“The precise detail of what any particular company needs will depend on company, so we’d recommend getting in touch with us to discuss the best way we can support them during and after this landmark moment in cyber security history,” said Darren.

“I have no doubt some of our clients are winning work that they couldn’t have won without our support in their data protection arrangements and the government’s cyber standard,” he added. 

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