Important: One year until The EU General Data Protection Regulation

  • By Gabrielle Cox
  • 25 May, 2017

All organisations have until 25 May 2018 to meet new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Below we bring you key information on a new legislation coming in to effect in May 2018, who it effects and what you need to do. 

On 14th April 2016, the European Parliament adopted a new regulation that will replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive. The GDPR (also known as EU 2016/679) covers the protection of a persons personal data, the processing of it and it's free movement. It gives EU citizens greater rights over their own personal data and how it is used by organisations. The new regulations will place a greater obligation of all establishments to protect this data. 

As announced in the Official Journal of the EU, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will come into force on the 25th May 2018 , leaving just one year for organisations to prepare.

Who it effects? 
This new regulation effects ALL industries and organisations, regardless of size, location or sector, that process personal data of people living the EU, in both the private and public sectors. From schools to small businesses, every establishment will be required to comply to the new rules. 

What do I need to know? 
Data kept by an organisation must be kept up to date, with inaccurate data corrected or erased. Organisations are only able to hold data which is necessary for the purpose which it is being processed. The reason why this data is being processed must be specific, clear and be for a legitimate purpose (preventing fraud and direct marketing are considered legitimate interests), these reasons should be able to be explained easily. Special protection for children's personal data has also been put in place for the first time. If your organisation collects information on children under the age of 13, you will need parental/guardian consent to process their data lawfully. 
Consent :
If your organisation relies on consent from individuals to process their data, it must meet the standards set by the GDPR, which states that organisations must be able to show that consent was given. At the times that organisations collect data they will need to provide clear messaging about the purposes of collecting the data and record how and where they collected consent.

Notification of data breaches
Organisations will need to notify their supervisory authority within 72 hours of any data breach and may then have to notify their customers.

Data Protection Officer (DPO)
Organisations which have 250 or more employees, is a public authority or is involved in large scale, regular monitoring of individuals' data, will be required to designate a DPO (either internally or outsourced). This person should have the confidence, support and ability to monitor data protection and it's compliance with GDPR.

Rights of the Citizens
Anyone who deals with a European controller will have the right to access and rectify their data as well as the right to be forgotten or permanently deleted.

What do I need to do?
To comply with the new GDPR, organisations must embed data protection at every level of their business and incorporate it into their processes. Keep an eye out for our action list, to ensure you comply to the new regulations in plenty of time. 

Further Points:
In the event of a breach of compliance, supervisory authorities can impose fines of up to 4% of an organisations worldwide annual turnover or €20 million - whichever comes first. 

The GDPR will go into effect on the 25th May 2018, with the UK unlikely to leave the EU until May 2019, there will almost certainly be a cross over, it is therefore advised that all organisations comply. It’s important to note that the UK government has indicated it will implement equivalent or alternative regulations, similar to GDPR.

Organisations based in the UK but who have customers in the EU, will have to comply regardless. 

For more information, fact sheets and frequently asked questions visit the European Commission website here. 


By Gabrielle Cox 17 Aug, 2017
On the 24th July, the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) launched a new Cyber Schools Programme,  encouraging teenagers to take part to help the nation address the risk of a future skills shortage. The programme is looking for students, teachers and industry workers to register their interest I taking part. 

The programme will see thousands of teenagers given the opportunity to learn up to date, cyber security skills alongside their usual secondary school studies through a nationwide network of  extracurricular clubs, instructor-led classes and online teaching and games. The programme's aim is to support and develop the skills of school aged children, giving them the ability to work in and tackle the ever growing cyber security sector in the future. 

Confirmed partners include Cyber Security Challenge UK, SANS, BT and FutureLearn who will all work together to deliver the programme which has been allocated £20m. 

The Minister of State for Digital Matt Hancock said:   “Our Cyber Schools programme aims to inspire the talent of tomorrow and give thousands of the brightest young minds the chance to learn cutting-edge cyber security skills alongside their secondary school studies. I encourage all those with the aptitude, enthusiasm and passion for a cyber security career to register for what will be a challenging and rewarding scheme.”

´╗┐From those who register their interest, students (aged between 14-18) will be selected for the programme via a pre-entry assessment. Teachers and industry experts are also being encouraged to get involved and register their interest in working with the programme. 

For more information and to register your interest please visit HERE

For advice and guidance on business and education cyber security, please visit our website or pop us an email on / 0117 2140 299.

By Gabrielle Cox 16 Aug, 2017
At Soltech IT we provide IT support & solutions to businesses of all sizes and sectors. Over the next few weeks we will bring you details on just some of the areas we can help your business. This week we're focusing on our available multi-site support packages.

The problem:
"Our business has multiple business sites, each with it's own specific requirements. We're looking for a coordinated IT support  and advice approach from a single trusted source. Although each site is unique we really need consistency." 

The solution:
At Soltech IT, we assign a dedicated account manager to you and your business. They will meet with you for a quarterly infrastructure meeting, allowing you to seek advise and make informed decisions for ongoing IT developments. We can ensure that the IT support we provide is consistent across all sites. 

For information or to discuss how we can specifically help you and your business, pop us an email to, visit our contact page or give us a call 0117 2140 299.
By Gabrielle Cox 15 Aug, 2017
We recently tweeted a brilliant piece by Education Technology, on a pioneering new start up, allowing for children with long term illnesses to participate in school & social activities via the power of technology. 

Initially launched in Norway, the revolutionary concept is now set to launch in the UK. The first product is an avatar, which allows children & young adults who are forced to take long periods of time off of school due to ill health, to maintain a presence in the classroom. Since it's launch In 2016, at the University of Oslo, in consultation with teachers and scientists, the friendly looking robots have been used by over 200 children in Norway, Sweden, Denmark & The Netherlands. 

Karen Dolva, co-founder and CEO of the start up, No Isolation added. 

"We have learnt that when children suffer from long-term illness, their corresponding isolation from friends makes it harder for them to recover and to come back to school when they feel better. We are also aware that developing speech and social skills is just as important as following the curriculum. When they are not a part of the social scene, children miss out on important learning through play and interaction.At No Isolation, the purpose of our technology is to help people alleviate the feeling of loneliness. We want to develop tools for the groups that need more than generic solutions. AV1 helps children with long-term illness to stay in touch with their friends, keep up with their education, and secure that crucial link to everyday life."

This fantastic concept's primary goal is to reduce loneliness amongst children suffering from long term health issues, however, the idea can only be a positive for their education and social skills. The AV-1 robot, which is controlled by the child through an app, allows the child to join in from a hospital bed or sofa at home. The robot acts as the 'eyes, ears and voice' of the child, with a blinking light ti signal when they want to say something and the ability to turn 360' to see and speak to the whole class. 

For more information check out the No Isolation website. 

By Gabrielle Cox 09 Aug, 2017
At Soltech IT we provide IT support & solutions to businesses of all sizes and sectors. Over the next few weeks we will bring you details on just some of the areas we can help your business. This week we're focusing on our Wifi heat mapping business solution. 

The problem:
"My business suffers with awful Wifi dead spots & problems with Wifi calling. Which causes huge delays and disruption to our working day."

The solution:
There is no guesswork with our Business IT Wifi audit and heat mapping solution which takes into account competing Wifi systems and other interference. 

For information or to discuss how we can specifically help you and your business, pop us an email to, visit our contact page or give us a call 0117 2140 299.
By Gabrielle Cox 07 Aug, 2017
Describe your role at Soltech IT.
I joined Soltech IT in January 2017 as a technical support engineer, which means I spend a lot of time fixing things that have gone wrong. 

What skills do you think you bring to your role?
I’m good at… fixing stuff? Also apparently good at heavy lifting.

What is your favourite piece of tech or gadget?
Figit spinners & the Internet.

Outside of work what is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
Video games, climbing and running (well asthmatically jogging).

What are you listening to/ reading/ watching at the moment?
I'm watching Parks and Recreation.

Who would you invite (real, fictional, dead or alive) to your dream dinner party?
Urgh, dinner parties. Could I bring back Senna, pick up Mansell and Hill and go Go Carting instead?
By Gabrielle Cox 04 Aug, 2017
Recent Google research has suggested that in the past two years, $25 million (£19m) has been made by cyber-thieves from ransomware, with the majority of money made in 2016, when gangs realised how lucrative it could be.

As discussed in past posts, Ransomware is a 'malicious software that infects a machine and then encrypts or scrambles files so they can no longer be used or read.'  Once these files are encrypted it can be very difficult to get them back. The cyber-thieves state they will only decrypt the files if the victim pays a ransom, however, this is often not the case, despite payment. 

Google's Elie Bursztein, who carried out the study along with Kylie McRoberts and Luca Invernizzi, stated, "It's become a very, very profitable market and is here to stay." The study involved Google creating thousands of virtual victims of ransomware to expose how the payment flow worked and to which malware types. Several methods were used to work out how cash flowed to the ransomware creators including seeking out the files used to infect machines to run on thousands of virtual machines to create "synthetic victims". They could monitor where this money would be transferred, highlighting 34 variants of ransomware, with them becoming increasingly popular.

Mr Bursztein added, "It's no longer a game reserved for tech-savvy criminals, it's for almost anyone."

For the more details and further results on the Google study visit the BBC site.
If you're worried about your Ransomware protection plan and would like advice on cyber security please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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