Businesses remain exposed to GDPR fines as time to prepare runs out
Written by staff reporter
Research suggests only five per cent of IT decision makers have all the necessary data governance strategies in place to be compliant ahead of the introduction of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline on 25 May 2018.
Figures from cybersecurity and compliance firm Proofpoint reveals that whilst the majority (54%) of UK businesses expect a data breach in the next 12 months, only 48% of respondents agree that their business is financially prepared to cover the GDPR fines post-deadline.
The study, carried out among 1,500 IT decision makers across businesses in the UK, France, and Germany, highlights a disconnect between perception and reality when it comes to GDPR readiness. Whilst most UK businesses (77%) believe they will be fully compliant in time, only five per cent actually have all the necessary data governance strategies in place to be compliant.
“It’s clear that when it comes to GDPR readiness, there is a disconnect,” says Adenike Cosgrove, EMEA Cybersecurity Strategist, Proofpoint. “While the majority of UK businesses are bullish about their ability to meet the compliance deadline, our research shows that for many, the basic requirements are not met.
“With data breaches becoming the new normal and the deadline to comply now less than six months away, the time is now to identify and protect all personal EU data. Failure to do so could lead to financially-significant fines, broken customer trust and in turn, potentially crippling disruption to the business.”
Along with high-profile global cyberattacks, the research suggests that data breaches are significantly on the rise. More than a third (36%) of UK businesses suffered a data breach in the last two years and nearly a quarter (23%) suffered a data breach multiple times in the past 24 months.
Looking ahead, France seems to have a heightened awareness of this new paradigm compared to its European counterparts. Seventy-eight per cent of French IT decision makers think their business is likely to suffer a data breach, with German respondents (46%) believing that they are the least likely to experience an EU personal data breach.
Proofpoint’s research also found a disparity around which methods are being prioritised to ensure GDPR deadline compliance. More than half (56%) of respondents have a user awareness programme on data protection, 46 per cent have encryption for all personal EU data, and 49 per cent have implemented advanced security solutions to prevent data breaches.
However, according to the findings, only half of respondents (50%) know (and have documented) what personal EU data their organisations currently hold. This demonstrates that whilst some businesses are implementing strategies and recognise the importance of GDPR compliance, they are still at a significant risk of non-compliance to the regulation because they cannot discover where EU personal data sits.
“Despite having two years to comply, UK businesses are still at a critical risk of exposing data and facing potentially colossal fines as a result,” adds Cosgrove. “Over the next six months, organisations must invest in solutions that will enable them to have clearer visibility over EU personal data, solutions that prevent breaches of identified data, as well as implement solutions that enable them to monitor, detect, and respond to any regulatory violations.”