UK firms claim GDPR preparedness

Three quarters of UK businesses are confident they will comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to come into force across the European Union on 25 May 2018, according to EfficientIP.

The network security technology provider commissioned a survey of 1,000 senior IT officials at businesses across the EU, North America, Asia and Australasia. It found that 86 per cent of UK firms believe GDPR compliance will increase customer loyalty.

However, firms in the US actually outspent their UK counterparts on GDPR preparations – spending $1,417 and $1,165 respectively. Similarly, two-thirds of US organisations have appointed a data protection officer, as required by GDPR, compared with just 57 per cent of UK organisations.

EfficientIP chief executive David Williamson said that with less than 50 days to go till GDPR enactment, US organisations are proactive and investing a lot in compliance.

“There is still some work to do, but it is encouraging to see nearly four out of five US businesses stating they are ready, with most believing the monitoring and analysis of DNS traffic - not firewalls nor endpoints - as the best way to prevent data breaches,” he stated.

GDPR replaces existing national data protection laws and gives the new European Data Protection Board regulator greater powers to fine companies for breaches. The new laws govern the processing and storage of data - both that given to and observed by companies about people - whether or not the company has operations in the EU. GDPR will also enshrine ‘right to be forgotten’ laws and give EU citizens the right to data portability between organisations.

A survey of 2,000 UK adults from SAS last year found that 48 per cent plan to activate new rights over their personal data, with recent personal data breach scandals like that around Facebook and Cambridge Analytica likely to have made people more guarded.

Another 2017 study, this time from Consult Hyperion, suggested European banks could face fines totalling €4.7 billion in the first three years under the GDPR, not to mention lost customers, damaged reputations and senior executive resignations.

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