Firms express concerns over new protection regulations

Nearly half of businesses have expressed concerns that they will struggle to meet General Data Protection Regulation requirements.

Inadequate technology was cited as a main reason for this, while the figure rises to 86% of all organisations worldwide, according to Veritas Technologies.

Nearly 20% of those polled in the global study fear that non-compliance with the regulations could put them out of business, especially given the potential fines attached to it.

Non-compliant firms could face a fine up to €20 million, or 4% of their annual turnover, whichever is greater.

GDPR comes into effect in late May 2018 and will affect companies within the EU and any business globally that offers goods or services to EU residents.

The regulations require oversight of where and how personal data is stored and transferred, alongside how it is policed and audited – this include information such as credit card details, banking and health information.

Of the firms questioned, 47% revealed doubts over how exactly compliance would be guaranteed, while 21% fear that cutting staff numbers could be an inevitable outcome that results from potential penalties for non-compliance.

More than 900 senior decision makers from European, U.S and Asia Pacific firms were included in the 2017 GDPR Report.

One of the key issues for firms revolves around understanding what data they have, where it is stored and whether it is relevant to the business.

A third of companies that fear compliance also believe they lack the necessary technology to meet the regulations and manage data effectively.

The GDPR also states that a business must be able to provide a copy of data or delete it within a 30 day time frame if requested, an issue for the 39% of businesses who think they will not be able to accurately identify and locate relevant data.

A further 42% of businesses said they lack any sort of control over which data is saved and deleted based on its value too, which becomes a problem if it is not used for the purposes that it was first collected.

Of firms that are working towards compliance, the average spend is €1.3 million, while others are taking action to try to mitigate potential staff layoffs and brand damage.

The study suggests that businesses should seek appropriate advice if they are unsure of their compliance, while the worst instances could see firms declared insolvent if they are unable to pay fines or find alternative refinancing solutions.

By Phil Smith

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