Rackspace has announced the launch of a new privacy and data protection offering aimed at helping businesses identify and protect sensitive data, including intellectual property and customer payment information.

According to the company, the new solution follows the UK government’s proposal of a new Data Protection Bill which hopes to pull legislation in line with modern approaches to managing and processing personal data.

The UK Bill will echo details outlined in the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and may even go beyond it.

Rackspace believes that its new offering will allow businesses in the UK to prepare for these changes and the evolving requirements related to data protection and compliance.

‘GDPR is a pressing concern for UK organisations, as the EU has outlined key obligations to safeguard the privacy of customer data, including proposing clear controls, like encryption, to protect personal information of EU citizens,’ noted Dee Richartz, director of managed security and compliance services at Rackspace.

‘But there is a fundamental issue – many organisations don’t understand what personal data they hold or know where their most sensitive data resides. With the threat of fines of up to £18.2 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever works out higher, for failing to comply, it’s now imperative for organisations to have a clear understanding of the profile of personal data they hold and have clear policies and controls to safeguard the same,’ she continued.

Rackspace explained that the new solution would provide a fully managed data protection service, including data classification, data access policies, encryption and activity reporting. It added that all of these tools can be easily integrated with existing applications without requiring any code changes.

The company commented that the new offering will provide businesses with a range of security and compliance benefits, including helping them to understand, identify and document the most sensitive data in their environments.

The solution also offers enhanced data protection by restricting access to approved company personnel and processes, while generating detailed information about unauthorised access by users, applications and systems to sensitive data.

Finally, the offering promises to conduct detailed compliance reporting, delivering monthly reporting with a comprehensive view of data usage and associated protections. This, Rackspace argues, will be critical in helping businesses meet their compliance requirements in many regions, including certain provisions under the GDPR and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).