A major survey sponsored by international law firm McDermott Will & Emery and carried out by the Ponemon Institute has revealed that many companies are behind schedule to achieve Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance by the looming May deadline. The survey results show that 40% of companies only expect to achieve compliance with the regulation after May 25 when the Regulation comes into effect.
The McDermott-Ponemon study surveyed companies across the US and Europe on their understanding of the impact of GDPR and their readiness for it. Key findings of this important benchmark survey are:
- 52% of the companies responded that they expect to be compliant on or before the May 25 deadline, and an additional 40% expect to become compliant after the deadline (8% of companies were not sure when they will achieve compliance)
- 60% of respondents say GDPR will “significantly change” their organisations’ workflows regarding the collection, use and protection of personal information, with 71% acknowledging that lack of compliance could have a detrimental impact on their companies’ ability to conduct business globally
- The difficulty in preparing for data breach notification, a cornerstone of the regulation, is the most difficult obligation according to 83% of respondents – with 68% saying that inability to comply with the notification requirement poses the greatest risk to their companies
“There is a lot more work to be done for GDPR readiness, this study shows. These findings reflect the demanding nature of GDPR and the anxiety around complying with it,” says Mark Schreiber, McDermott partner and a leader of the Firm’s Global Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice. “A key issue here is prioritising what can be done in the remaining time before that May deadline and acting on those high risk areas.”
The survey shows that companies are investing heavily in attempting to achieve GDPR compliance. The average annual budget for compliance is $13 million according to the findings – a figure that one in three companies expects to review annually.
More than one in five (22%) believe that a budget allocation will continue indefinitely in their organisation due to a need to continue with investment in technologies, governance practices and staffing. Respondents believe that the majority of the budget will be spent on Managed Services (28% of spend), followed by Personnel (19% of spend) and technology (17% of spend).
“The risks of failing to comply with GDPR have been most often reflected by organisations’ fear of the potential size of the financial penalties that non-compliance could bring about,” says Larry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute. “The headline figures – fines of up to €20m or 4% of global turnover, whichever is the greater amount – represent a potentially massive fine for companies.”