Meta Defence Labs, a UK and Sri Lankan based cybersecurity firm, held Sri Lanka’s very first training session on Data protection & GDPR compliance on 18 May at the Colombo Hilton Residencies.
The session was a full-day engagement where multiple leaders from Sri Lanka’s largest businesses and financial organisations attended to gain insights into how the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) impact local organisations.
The event was specifically meant for C-Level individuals of organisations that work closely with UK and EU-based clientele and anyone looking to improve data protection practices within their organisations. The event was coordinated and moderated by the founders of Meta Defence Labs, Clive Simms & Chani Simms who are both highly qualified and experienced Information security and Data protection experts.
The GDPR is a global data protection regulation that extends beyond companies that operate only in the EU. This Regulation protects fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons and their right to the protection of personal data. Any organisation that envisages offering goods or services to EU data subjects, processes the personal data of EU subjects, or monitors the behaviour of EU data subjects, must comply with the requirements of GDPR. Under GDPR, organisations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4% of their annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater). This is the maximum fine that can be imposed for the most serious infringements.
Given that the European Union makes up approximately a quarter of Sri Lanka’s import / export market, many organisations in Sri Lanka collect and process personally identifiable information of EU residents. This event served to raise awareness of data protection and inform local organisations of the upcoming law, its implications, and how they may be impacted.
“The European Union being the largest market in Sri Lanka’s export portfolio, many organisations depend on EU clients. During our preliminary consultations with Sri Lankan organisations, we learned that very few leaders within these organisations were aware of the GDPR and what its potential risks to their business were. It’s for this reason that we decided to host an event that directly addressed these challenges, educate and raise awareness on what steps organisations need to take to be GDPR ready,” said Meta Defence Labs Managing Director Chani Simms.
During the full-day session, participants engaged in highly interactive discussions and presentations that involved an understanding of the regulation and its legal terms, followed by an extensive Q&A session that helped the participants to prepare for the certified GDPR Foundation exam.