UK firms risk fines with poor knowledge of EU data protection regulations -TEISS® : Cracking Cyber Security

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UK firms risk fines with poor knowledge of EU data protection regulations

UK businesses are risking hefty fines because they do not properly understand EU data protection regulations, according to a report

Research by Trend Micro has shown that although the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was first announced two years ago, a fifth of IT decision makers in the UK are still unaware of its existence.

But even among those who do know what the rules are, 29 per cent do not think they would apply to their organisations, or are unsure whether they would.

The GDPR was formally adopted by the European Parliament on April 14th and comes into force in the UK in 2018. It applies to European firms as well as others that serve European citizens and fines for non-compliance can reach up to four per cent of annual turnover.

Despite this, 18 per cent of firms are not aware they could face fines, while 32 per cent know that the fines exist but are unsure of what they are.

Meanwhile, 26 per cent of companies do not know how much time they have to become compliant. 31 per cent think they have between six and 12 months, while 11 per cent think they have between two and three years.

“As it often happens with regulation, it’s going to take a whipping boy to understand the gravity of the situation for most organisations,” said Trend Micro’s global vice president of security research Rik Ferguson.

“One high-profile case of a company handing money over for non-compliance under GDPR will be the required wake-up call the rest of the industry needs to get their act together.”

While 55 per cent of companies know about the GDPR requirements, eight per cent of IT decision makers do not understand what steps they need to take to become compliant – only 22 per cent know they need to hire a data protection offer, for example.

For more on the research, see the Trend Micro website.

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