92 per cent of businesses across Europe are unprepared for the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into law in May 2018.
The survey, conducted for RSM by the European Business Awards and completed by 400 of Europe's successful business leaders, asked about their preparedness for GDPR and how the new regulation will impact their operations.
Only 8 per cent of business are ready for GDPR, and have made the necessary changes to be compliant with the regulation. Meanwhile, one in four business leaders (28 per cent) are completely unaware of the regulation they will have to adhere to.
More than a quarter (26 per cent) of business leaders, familiar with their GDPR strategy, admit their organisation will not be compliant by the May 2018 deadline.
Businesses that fail to comply before the deadline could face fines of up to 4 per cent of global turnover or €20m, whichever is higher.
“In less than seven months, businesses across the continent will have to adhere to GDPR,” said Jean Stephens, CEO, RSM. “We have seen an increase in clients asking us about GDPR consulting services, however, it is clear from this research that many businesses do not fully comprehend the hurdles they will have to overcome ahead of the fast-approaching deadline.”
“Business leaders need to understand that this is not a simple tick-box exercise. They will likely need to implement significant changes that could impact their organisation as a whole and so the sooner they begin to prepare, the better.”
The aim of the GDPR is to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in an increasingly data-driven world. Although the key principles of data privacy still hold true to the previous directive, many changes have been proposed to the regulatory policies, including increased territorial scope, higher penalties for data breaches and stronger conditions for consent.
You can find out more about how to prepare for GDPR here