New research – how European companies are tackling GDPR

By Rafi Kretchmer, Head of Product Marketing

I don’t blame you for looking upon GDPR with a heavy dose of scepticism initially. You weren’t the only one. When it was revealed, the IT community collectively breathed out a forlorn sigh. Because they knew what it probably meant – upheaval, confusion, burden and frustration (directed at them by other business leaders).

And yet, fast forward to 2019 and that pessimistic picture has changed. That’s according to research we conducted, following the one-year anniversary of the regulation’s implementation.

It might not have been plain sailing for everyone, but the headline finding from our study is that GDPR has had a profoundly positive impact on both consumer trust and data security in Europe.

We enlisted the help of leading research firm OnePoll to incorporate the views of 1,000 CTOs, CIOs, IT managers and security managers across France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. And we found that as many as three-quarters (75%) of organisations believe GDPR has improved consumer trust, while 73% claim it has boosted their data security.

GDPR – a retrospective

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last couple of years, you’ll know that the big day for GDPR was 25th May 2018. Despite all the apprehension and panic, it’s important to remember that the regulation was ultimately a noble pursuit. It sought to return the control of data to individual EU citizens.

But the prickliest thorn in the side of the regulation – from its unveiling even through to today – has been the lack of explicit guidance around how to implement it. That created confusion in many quarters, and both the operational and technological considerations are still puzzling some organisations right now.

Overcoming obstacles

Despite all the uncertainty, our research found that two-thirds (60%) of businesses have fully adopted all GDPR measures – with just 4% yet to kick-off the process. In fact, if you just spoke to CTOs and CIOs, that figure climbs to 67%.

What’s more, when we asked the participants to assess how well they’d dealt with GDPR’s obligations (on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represented a complete success), the average rating was a surprisingly sanguine 7.91.

“Why such overwhelming optimism?”, you might ask.

One reason might be the strategically-steered approach that many firms have embraced. We. discovered that two-thirds (65%) of IT pros believe their company has an organic and strategic approach to cybersecurity – where measures are applied from the bottom up. And that approach has seen businesses across Europe adopt a range of different initiatives:

  • Over half (53%) said their organisation set up a GDPR working group
  • Just under half (45%) allocated budget to cover the costs of implementing GDPR
  • And 41% employed GDPR consultants

As part of their strategies, IT professionals are also implementing a number of technical steps to answer the demands of GDPR. They include adopting standard security measures (44%), training employees to better understand data security risks (41%), and implementing access and encryption control systems (41%).

The report to reinvigorate your GDPR journey

If you’re one of the 4% of organisations who haven’t started their GDPR program – or among the 40% who are only part of the way through it – this research should make interesting reading. Because it reveals the enticing benefits that those who’ve implemented GDPR are now enjoying – and the additional value they expect to unlock going forwards.

I’ve already outlined the big impact that GDPR can have on consumer trust and data security. Those are two powerful competitive advantages in today’s digital world of business.

But if they’re not sufficiently compelling on their own, just consider these additional anticipated long-term rewards. 44% of your peers see GDPR as a way to make operations more efficient – especially valuable for cybersecurity.

Around a third (32%) say that GDPR has encouraged their organisation to embrace cloud solutions. That figure jumps to 42% in Italy and France.

And 40% believe the regulations will provide a more comprehensive and complete view of the information processed by their company.

So, if you’re struggling to get your GDPR initiatives moving, you need to read our report. Download it today, and you can discover how your peers are tackling the obligations of GDPR. That includes how much organisations are investing to adhere to GDPR. And why businesses need to adopt robust frameworks, rather than simply shutting off access to platforms that employees and customers want to use – like mobile devices and the cloud.

Get your copy of the report for free today. And, in the meantime, explore our new tool, which guides you through the essential elements of an effective GDPR compliance strategy. Find the GDPRate tool – which you can use for free – at: https://pages.checkpoint.com/gdprate.html

For more information about the report click here.

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