Businesses collecting data on EU residents are forced to waste valuable time and money on efforts to get and stay compliant and avoid fines.

GDPR compliance shouldn’t have to require such a substantial investment of time, money, and effort to achieve. 

Automation can reduce the time, effort, and money needed to achieve compliance by making the process more efficient.

How Long Does GDPR Compliance Take Without Automation?

Getting GDPR compliant requires a significant amount of manual work and time.

While the exact timeline depends on factors like the size of the organization and the amount of personal data they process, there are several steps every organization must take, including but not limited to:

  • Conducting an information audit
  • Establishing a process for cross-border data transfers
  • Creating a data retention policy and procedure for secure data disposal
  • Creating a data register
  • Creating and publishing a privacy notice
  • Creating an internal data protection policy
  • Conducting a data protection impact assessment
  • Creating a breach notification policy and procedure
  • Completing vendor risk assessments
  • Establishing a data processing agreement with any third parties that process personal data on your behalf

It’s estimated that completing these GDPR readiness initiatives would take a small or medium-sized company over 200 hours to complete.

What does that mean in terms of months? In a survey of 300 privacy professionals from small to large organizations, organizations took 7 months on average to achieve GDPR readiness.

This does not include the time it would take to maintain compliance either.

How Much Does GDPR Compliance Cost Without Automation?

Like the compliance timeline, GDPR compliance costs vary depending on a wide range of factors, including:

  • The number of employees
  • The number of vendors
  • The number of geographic locations and data centers
  • The size and complexity of the cloud environment
  • The amount and type of data being processed
  • How you’re processing and using data
  • The scope and complexity of your information security program

On average, small- and mid-sized organizations can expect to spend more than $100,000 to get and stay compliant with GDPR. Larger organizations can expect to spend even more.

According to a 2020 report by DataGrail, 20% of small- and mid-sized organizations spent more than $1 million to maintain GDPR compliance annually, and only 6% of all organizations spent less than $50,000. The global professional services firm Ernst & Young estimated that the world’s 500 biggest corporations spent almost $8 billion in 2018 to comply with GDPR. 

The high costs of achieving and maintaining GDPR compliance are essentially due to the fact that organizations must either purchase multiple security tools, dedicate an existing team or hire a new one, or hire a third-party consultant or firm to design, implement, and monitor GDPR’s privacy mandates on a continuous basis.

Take a third-party consultant or firm, for example. They can help conduct a gap analysis, create a remediation plan, and assess your organization for GDPR compliance — but at significantly high costs. On average, companies can expect to pay a consulting firm at least $20,000 for gap assessments, $15-25,000 for remediation planning, and $30,000+ per year for compliance assessments. 

Why Automation is a Game-Changer for GDPR Compliance

Secureframe’s compliance automation streamlines the compliance process. We save teams hundreds of hours and tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars spent writing security policies, collecting evidence, hiring security consultants, and performing readiness assessments.

And because Secureframe automates as much as possible from beginning to end, you’ll get GDPR compliant faster and save money— but the benefits of compliance automation go beyond time and costs savings.

In a survey conducted by UserEvidence, Secureframe users reported a range of benefits, including:

  • 97% strengthened their security and compliance posture 
  • 95% saved time and resources obtaining and maintaining compliance
  • 89% sped up time-to-compliance for multiple frameworks 
  • 85% unlocked annual cost savings
  • 71% improved visibility into security and compliance posture

Let's take a closer look at these benefits of Secureframe's compliance automation solution below.

Strengthens your security and compliance posture

With Secureframe, you understand exactly what you need to do to meet GDPR requirements and track your progress towards being compliant. You’ll get a real-time view of what’s looking good and what you can do to improve.

You can also leverage our team of in-house compliance experts, which has decades of audit advisory and consulting experience. They understand your company’s specific requirements, provide tailored advice for an ironclad security posture, and guide you through a successful audit.

Saves time and resources

If your organization relies on a manual approach to compliance, you’ll need to:

  • Collect screenshots and documentation for evidence over and over
  • Track dozens of tasks in spreadsheets, some of which need to be performed annually, quarterly, or on another recurring basis to maintain compliance
  • Complete thorough risk assessments and gap analyses regularly as your business grows and industry standards evolve
  • Create a risk register and asset inventory in spreadsheets and keep those up-to-date
  • Write GDPR policies from scratch and ensure they stay updated and that employees review them as they onboard and at least annually after that
  • Monitor your controls and infrastructure to identify any issues and remediate them as quickly as possible

As your organization spends more resources on repetitive manual tasks like these, the complexity and costs of a security compliance program rise sharply. Secureframe automates these manual tasks, reducing the time and resources it takes for your organization to achieve and maintain GDPR compliance.

Speeds up time-to-compliance for multiple frameworks

As your compliance program expands beyond GDPR, Secureframe can help reduce the time and effort required to comply with multiple frameworks. Secureframe automatically maps the control set and underlying tests of the GDPR framework to the requirements of another framework. By doing so, organizations don’t have to waste valuable time and resources creating independent sets of controls, performing redundant tests, gathering the same evidence, and repeating other activities to comply with multiple frameworks that have common controls.

That means, if you add a new framework to your Secureframe instance, you will automatically see where you stand with that framework and how it overlaps with GDPR. Due to such common overlap across frameworks, existing Secureframe customers adding new frameworks never start at 0% when adding a new framework to their instance. 

Unlocks cost savings

Compliance is an extremely cross-functional practice, where the assets under scope span multiple teams, including engineering, security, compliance, leadership, risk, IT, and HR. As a result, many compliance activities are performed by various teams that actually own the assets in question. This is why typical compliance automation software has focused on automating workflow aspects around cross-functional collaboration, such as ticket lifecycle management, cross-functional control ownership, alerting, and reporting.

However, Secureframe acts as an all-in-one solution and removes the need for many of these compliance activities to be human exercises at all. By reducing the amount of manual work that teams need to perform, Secureframe drastically lowers workflow and collaboration requirements, which leads to massive cost savings across the entire compliance function.

Improves visibility into your security and compliance posture

From your cloud infrastructure to your vendor ecosystem, we continuously scan and monitor your tech stack and alert you of vulnerabilities. This helps you achieve GDPR compliance faster and stay compliant.

This automated continuous monitoring, combined with deep integrations and dashboards, provides your organization to with a holistic view of your compliance management program so you can see how your GDPR controls are performing over time and if there are any non-conformities or compliance issues across your tech stack.

Hundreds of companies trust Secureframe to streamline GDPR compliance. If you’re ready to get started, schedule a demo with one of our product experts.