The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance deadline looms four days away, but only 29 percent of companies will be ready, according to a new global survey by ISACA.
Not only are most unprepared for the deadline, but only around half of the companies surveyed (52 percent) expect to be compliant by end-of-year 2018, and 31 percent do not know when they will be fully compliant.
Top GDPR challenges
According to the research, the top five challenges related to GDPR compliance are:
- Data discovery and mapping (59 percent)
- Prioritizing GDPR compliance among other business priorities (47 percent)
- Organizational education and change programs (45 percent)
- Ensuring cross-departmental collaboration and buy-in (42 percent)
- Preparation for data subject access or deletion requests (37 percent).
Cost was the seventh-highest concern, at 32 percent. About 27 percent say it will cost under US $1 million to become GDPR compliant, with 15 percent spending $1 million or more. More than half of the business technology professionals surveyed were unsure how much their organizations would be spending.
Education and awareness
Among the survey’s most concerning findings is the level of employee education on GDPR and their role in compliance. Only 39 percent of respondents say their organizations’ employees have been educated to a satisfactory level about their responsibilities to maintain GDPR compliance.
“Employee awareness and education are critical components of ongoing GDPR compliance,” said Chris K. Dimitriadis, chair of ISACA’s GDPR Working Group. “Awareness of—and commitment to—well-defined security, data management, and privacy policies and procedures clearly need to be an integral part of every organization’s culture, from the top down.”
The positive impact of GDPR
The good news is that the majority of executive leaders recognize the importance of GDPR and its implications. According to the ISACA data, nearly 7 in 10 respondents (69 percent) believe their organization’s executives have made becoming GDPR-compliant a priority.
Organizations also expect to achieve significant benefits from GDPR compliance. The top three anticipated positive outcomes are:
- Greater data security (60 percent)
- Improved business reputation (49 percent)
- Marrying data security best practices with corporate culture (43 percent).
“One of the most practical and cost-effective ways organizations can support GDPR and other compliance requirements is to help employees understand the business value of the information they deal with on a regular basis,” said Tim Upton, CEO at TITUS. “That way, employees become more aware of their responsibilities when it comes to handling and protecting data within the flow of work, providing added value to the ways organizations earn and maintain the trust of customers and employees.”