Almost a quarter of UK businesses have brought in a new hire specifically to make sure they comply with the tough new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations.
This is according to a study from learning provider, Litmos Heroes.
With the threat of fines of up to 20 million Euros looming and only a few months to go until the wide-ranging new EU regulations come into force, the research discovered that 22% deem it so vital to their futures they have recruited new staff to tackle the impending changes.
In stark contrast, 11% of the 500 UK business owners and decision makers that took part in the survey admitted they don’t know which of their current team members would handle the responsibility of making sure the business was GDPR-ready.
60% admitted that they don’t have any plan in place to ensure their current staff are trained and know what is expected of them after the May 25 2018 deadline.
And although they are considered to be the custodians of data protection in many UK business, the study found that one in ten IT businesses haven’t even heard of GDPR.
Worryingly, 4% of IT service businesses admitted that they don’t currently comply with UK data protection laws already – and 20% confessed to having inadequate safeguards in place right now to protect customer data.
Tom Moore is Managing Director of Litmos Heroes said: “Now is the time for businesses to act. Before the multi-million pound fines comes into play. It’s not too late.
“Our study paints a stark picture of how seriously – or not – some UK businesses are taking GDPR. On the plus side, it’s fantastic to see that around a quarter of businesses are recruiting new talent to tackle the GDPR changes head on.
“However, on the flip side, the findings raise a number of concerns and it seems that some businesses really need to be reminded about the impact of these new regulations. Let’s be clear: If any organisation handles the data of a EU citizen – whether Brexit or no Brexit – it will apply to them.”
Across all sectors in UK plc, almost 30% of business decision makers are totally in the dark about the law changes. More than 30% said they have done nothing at all towards becoming GDPR-ready – and ten per cent said they don’t plan to.
The research, which was carried out to mark the launch of Litmos Heroes’ new GDPR course for global businesses and SMEs, found that 90% admitted that if the regulation was introduced tomorrow, they wouldn’t be ready.