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GDPR: a year away but 86% of companies worried about compliance

By May 2018, companies will have spent an average of €1.3 million ($1.4 million) on systems and training to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But it's not just this initial investment in complying with the GDPR that's bothering companies. Research by Veritas Technologies, based on answers from 900 organisations, suggests that 86 per cent of companies are concerned that the GDPR could have a major negative impact on their business if they fail to comply. And almost half (47 per cent) of companies are concerned they won’t meet the requirements of the legislation.

From 25 May 2018 nearly all companies that do business within the EU and hold personal data about EU residents will have to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The 2017 Veritas GDPR report calls the EU regulation “some of the most stringent data privacy regulations the world has ever seen”.

The high cost of GDPR failure

Failure to comply would indeed be costly. Companies could face fines of €20 million ($21.5m), or 4 per cent of annual revenue – whichever is higher. About one-fifth of the global companies surveyed are worried that failure to comply would put them out of business, would result in them having to make staff redundant or could result in negative media coverage and reputational damage.

Technology an obstacle to GDPR compliance

The report highlights that many companies don't have the appropriate technology to manage data effectively – a concern for 32 per cent of the survey's respondents. The report states that this “could jeopardize their ability to search, discover and review data – all essential criteria for GDPR compliance”.

The graph below shows the top five concerns of companies with regards to GDPR.

CTMfile take: GDPR isn't just about securing customers' personal data – it's also about managing that data and storing useful data while selecting which data to delete. This is a huge challenge and the research found that 65 per cent of companies are seeking external help.  

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