We’ve reported on a number of surveys in the past few months about the UK business sector’s apparent unpreparedness for the forthcoming European Union General Data Protection Regulations that are due to come into force in May 2018. This week has worryingly seen another. The report, by Calling, one of the leading and most innovative cloud service providers revealed that 69% of UK business executives are unprepared for GDPR.
The survey question 500 IT decision makers in companies that have more than 100 employees and have a turnover in excess of £15 million. Worryingly, just 31% of those that were questioned said that they had governance sponsorship at board level whilst less than 10% of them said that they were receiving full support from their compliance departments.
Julian Box, CEO at Calligo, said:
“It is worrying to see signs that GDPR governance does not have the full attention of so many C-level executives. Too many of those at the top think it is all about security, when that is only a part of it. The deadline for compliance is May 25 next year and any company that subsequently fails to handle data in the correct manner risks the severe penalties stipulated in the regulation. The top people in every organisation need to get to grips with this challenge, ensuring that their data is being stored and handled in full compliance.”
This perceived lack of interest in the new European Union General Data Protection Regulations is particularly perplexing especially as the survey revealed that more than 60% of respondents agreed that the new regulations would affect the profitability of their business. It also found that just over 40% of companies have already resourced and appointed a Data Protection officer, despite this being a situation of GDPR for medium-sized and larger businesses.
Other recent surveys that have pointed to the UK business community’s unreadiness for the forthcoming European Union General Data Protection Regulations include:
- A survey by NTT security that found that just 39% of UK business respondents thought that GDPR would apply to them, the lowest statistic in Europe.
- Research from Gowling WLG that found that respondents from the UK were much less well-informed about GDPR and its impact compared to their European counterparts, failing to identify between 2% and 25% fewer risks in each area analysed than other European respondents.
- A survey by Pure Storage, one of the world’s leading data flash storage companies that showed that Brexit had caused UK businesses to fall behind their overseas competitors in term of their digital transformation strategies.
If UK businesses fail to prepare for GDPR properly, they could face fines of up to 20 million euros or 4% of global turnover, whichever is higher.