Although your business may not be situated within the EU, if you provide the service to customers who reside within the EU, you must follow the guidelines in GDPR. Infractions of this law could result in huge penalties. Data processing and handling is an essential part of numerous SaaS firms; it is a requirement for them. In the meantime, ensuring compliance with the GDPR can be challenging; it takes time to figure out the best place and how to begin.

The GDPR came into force within the EU from its implementation. Since then, SaaS companies doing business with clients in the EU must adhere to strict guidelines to process personal data. This article can be useful since it includes a checklist of GDPR for SaaS firms. The GDPR checklist must be considered an example to comply, not an absolute guidance. If you require expert and legal guidance in this regard rather, it’s best to partner with a private lawyer.

First, let us provide an overview of the basics of what SaaS and GDPR are in case you need to become more familiar with both terms before moving on to the list of requirements. Let’s get going.

What is SaaS?

Source: Ironistic

SaaS is a short form that means “software as a service.” SaaS services are software that is cloud-based. The idea behind the SaaS model is that it allows you to quickly start using an online program without committing much money or time. It differs from purchasing the complete software as a physical or digital replica. Furthermore, the person who purchased it was also accountable for ensuring the hardware and software were compatible.

As a SaaS subscriber, you do not need to worry about middleware, software, hardware, etc. The SaaS provider handles all the concerns; instead of paying a large lump sum, the user pays for subscription access to work with SaaS solutions. You usually only require an internet browser and a Web connection to access the SaaS service. It is possible to begin using this program immediately after you’ve purchased access. Using a SaaS service, your data is saved on the cloud. This decentralized type of decentralized storage allows you to streamline the processes in your organization by allowing you to freely access the work materials just by logging in to the software online.

Because many SaaS solutions are focused on data processing in some way or another, SaaS companies are thus legally bound to be GDPR-compliant when they conduct business with individuals from the EU. This brings us to our next section, where we’ll detail the fundamentals of GDPR.

What is GDPR?

The GDPR Abbreviation, which stands for General Data Protection Regulation, is a law governing data adopted by the EU on May 25, 2018, the year of the dog. GDPR aims to offer data security to EU citizens and allow individuals greater control over their personal information. The process will involve monitoring how organizations and companies deal with personal information. The organizations are also obliged to record and supervise the processing of data. The GDPR demands that companies fully understand how data are handled within their boundaries. It applies internally and externally to the organization when the business works with a third party. The GDPR states that organizations and any third party must be able to describe the data being processed, for what purpose the data processing is, and for which data will be transferred. The transfer of data can occur to different organizations, however, only if they comply with the regulations of the GDPR. Furthermore, businesses must register consents for all users to demonstrate that users have provided explicit permission. 

Since the introduction of GDPR, organizations have been prohibited from using personal information without proving that the individual has expressly consented to it. The consent has to be given freely and with a clear explanation of the purpose for which data are being collected and the purpose for which it is used to accomplish.  The user must give their consent before the process of processing data begins. Furthermore, they can access the information an organization has collected on the users and choose to revoke consent to the collection and erase the data. 

In the event of a data breach that is discovered, organizations have to inform the authorities responsible for data and people affected within 72 days. Businesses that do not become in compliance with GDPR are at risk of massive fines that can reach EUR20 million or 4 percent of a company’s annual global turnover or 4% of its global annual turnover, whichever is greater.  Although the GDPR is extremely new, massive fines have been given to non-compliant businesses. Since the start of 2019, the tech giant Google was penalized EUR50 million in France in violation of the provisions of the GDPR.

What are GDPR and its impact on private data?

The European Union started enforcing the General Data Protection Regulation, known as the GDPR, which provides a unifying law for data security all over Europe for the customers of SaaS businesses. “The GDPR provides the protocols that govern how firms and organizations handle information related to people who communicate with their services.

The GDPR has also introduced new definitions for personal information, consent types accountable standards, and the role of data in making, interpreting and storing the information.” The GDPR EU It is evident that the GDPR impacts all 500 million European citizens and businesses operating in the nation legally and worldwide.

Whether a business is in the EU or not, it has to meet GDPR’s requirements if it deals with any EU citizen. Any company with an online footprint (e.g., a website) which European users can visit must be aware of the requirement to be GDPR compliant and the conditions for achieving this.

Top 5 GDPR Checklist Compliance for Companies when using SaaS Solutions

1. Appoint an internal Data Protection Officer (DPO)

Choosing the Data Protection Officer is recommended regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur with a modest size and are worried that your company is off the radar. Companies choose to appoint Data Protection Officers to raise the level of data security to the top of their agendas in the boardroom. This is an important structural shift of organizations, which the EU hopes will lead to an awareness shift toward the significance of data protection rights and adherence to the GDPR. A Data Protection Officer must be selected based on knowledge within the field.

It’s not my word; the regulations stipulate that the person should have a fair capability for the task. The monitoring of data and processing of personal data are essential tasks for a lot of these. If this applies to your SaaS company, choosing an internal DPO is essential to be GDPR-compliant.

Any employee in your organization can become a DPO. A specific amount of education is needed for the newly-appointed DPO to ensure they have a thorough comprehension of GDPR and the duties that the position of DPO comes with.

The cookie consent banner on your website also needs to be updated. The cookie consent banner appears as the message displayed on websites whenever a person visits the site for the first time. It is designed to notify users that the site uses cookies and request their permission. Similar to the privacy policies and the privacy policy, the content of the banner requesting consent for cookies should also be written in simple and easy-to-understand text that is precise and concise. To the GDPR, Cookie consent banners should contain an opt-out feature for people who do not want the consent process.

3. Inquire Whether your Third-Party Vendors are Compliant or Not

Third-party vendors, i.e., suppliers and subcontractors, might only sometimes comply with GDPR. There is a need to perform some research to figure out the truth about whether they’re compliant or not. This is an easy assignment.

The only thing you need to do is contact them directly and inquire. If they’re not, ask them to be one for your sake and the other people who use their services.

If they deny your request, the best option for improvement and compliance is to locate the right business partner. A new one has already been compliant or in the process of being certified. If the third-party vendors you use don’t comply with GDPR, then you’re not compliant also with GDPR.

4. Arrange for Data Processing Agreements with your Third-Party Vendors

It is aware that more than third-party vendors providing written or verbal confirmation of compliance with GDPR is needed. It would be helpful if you had also entered into contracts for the processing of data with subcontractors as well as your suppliers for full conformity.

5. Implement Technical Measures for IT

First, data on your system(s) must be protected by encryption. The best method is to choose between anonymization or pseudonymization, as the GDPR suggests these two strategies.

In addition, information that is not in use or required is best deleted to lessen the amount of data you can protect. Also, you should delete obsolete information from the backup when you can. Other important IT methods include a dual employee authentication system and a TLS certificate. SSL is also able to do your job. But TLS is the latest version of SSL which makes it more popular.

Also, it would help if you were sure your data centers are in regions with high data security levels, i.e., Europe or the US. Your passwords on your system must also be secured to ensure maximum data security. If employees bring devices to work, they must be secured and secure. Regular vulnerability checks on your devices, systems, and networks are also a good way to find security weaknesses that could be a problem.


The GDPR’s requirements for SaaS affect how businesses consider security and data breaches globally, regardless of whether they’re within the European Union. Teams that plan and follow the guidelines described in this post are better equipped to evaluate SaaS services thoroughly, record their services’ compliance, and minimize future risks. 

Do you know why you must comply with this General Data Protection Regulation? For more information on being fully aware of the company’s SaaS stack, evaluating the latest technologies online, and giving contract negotiations to your SaaS supplier.

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Hello, I'm Sai. I'm a freelance writer and blogger. I write unique and researched-based content on Saas products, online marketing, and much more. I'm constantly experimenting with new methods and staying current with the latest Saas updates. I'm also the founder and editor at Bowl of Wellness, where I share my latest recipes and tips for living a healthy lifestyle. You can read more at Bowl of Wellness -