sb-as logo
Story image

EU companies least prepared for GDPR with just 26% fully compliant

20 Feb 2018

Headlines around the world have been painting a grim picture of the readiness of organisations for the EU’s imminent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance deadline.

Businesses around the world are getting ready for the new requirements due to be enforced in May 2018 and according to a report from Forrester Research, European companies are the most pessimistic about their readiness with just 26 percent saying they are fully compliant and 22 percent expecting be fully compliant within 12 months.

The report is based off the findings from a survey of thousands of global security decision makers at the manager level or above at firms with 20 or more employees

However, Forrester says despite these numbers being the lowest around the world (North America came out on top with 33 percent), the number is still encouragingly high.

“As we consider this evidence, we also must bear in mind that GDPR is a principle-based regulation, and to determine whether they are compliant, companies must judge whether their risk mitigation strategies are effective and in line with GDPR requirements,” the report states.

“In many cases, this is not a simple black-or-white assessment. To make this even more difficult, also consider that many firms still find the interpretation of many GDPR requirements unclear today.”

Despite one in three organisations around the world believing they’re GDPR-compliant today, a good portion of these companies may not be given Forrester believes just a portion of these have actually engaged in data discovery and classification exercises as well as built data flow maps and run gap analysis.

Many firms are instead taking a disjointed gradual approach to GDPR that is mainly focused on requirements that rely primarily on IT to meet specific compliance requirements like the requirements for data breach notification. Forrester has labelled these approaches as ‘short-sighted’ and asserts more than likely radical revision will need to be undertaken after the enforcement of GDPR starts in a few months.

What’s more, there is a large number that believe the GDPR doesn’t apply to them because of their location outside of the EU. Forrester affirms GDPR has extraterritorial effect, which means physical location is irrelevant, particularly if companies sell products or services to the European market or if they collect data on Europeans to build profiles, for example.

Forrester says a worrisome trend is the fact that many organisations are relying on technology to tackle GDPR compliance, thereby neglecting requirements that hinge more heavily on processes.

Findings from the survey reveal the bulk of businesses feel prepared to take care of breach response but Forrester asserts they underestimate its reach.

Companies are prioritising compliance with the data breach notification requirement, which is understandable given the long history of breaches and their consequences has made everyone acquainted with the risk.

However, Forrester says this means companies are neglecting that GDPR demands that companies not only report breaches to Data Protection Authorities but also the affected customers.

In terms of the impending GDPR administration, Forrester has a few points of advice:

  • Execute GDPR programs across systems, processes, people, and governance.
  • Involve all appropriate teams from day one.
  • Invest in compliance management solutions to support continuous GDPR compliance.
Story image
Major firms disclose breaches in the wake of SolarWinds attack
Microsoft, Shell, GoDaddy, MobiKwik — these are just some of the high-profile company's on the receiving end of sophisticated attacks, writes Bitglass senior director of marketing Jonathan Andresen.More
Story image
Dell Technologies unveils new data protection innovations for hybrid cloud workloads
The Dell EMC PowerProtect Backup Service, powered by Druva, is designed to deliver SaaS app protection without increasing IT complexity.More
Story image
WatchGuard uncovers top cyber threat trends of Q4 2020
“The rise in sophisticated, evasive threat tactics last quarter and throughout 2020 showcases how vital it is to implement layered, end-to-end security protections."More
Story image
Need for greater understanding of data security responsibility as cloud adoption grows - report
Despite the accelerated adoption of cloud services, there was a lack of clarity and confidence regarding the protection and recovery of data stored in public clouds.More
Story image
Hybrid IAM solutions are the way of the future, study states
“As this first-of-its-kind research shows, while IT leaders are faced with unique criteria and conditions that shape their IT strategy, hybrid IAM has emerged as a necessity."More
Story image
Cybersecurity budgets still not keeping up with threats — report
Executive teams are failing to recognise the level of damage cyber-threats pose to organisations, according to Sophos — many of them taking a ‘conservative approach’ to cybersecurity expenditure.More