A Sheffield IT firm has formed a partnership with three national organisations to help businesses ahead of the forthcoming GDPR regulations – after a survey discovered at least 80% were ‘alarmingly under-prepared’.
Millgate has joined forces with cloud and endpoint cybersecurity company Bitdefender, cyber security and data protection firm Forcepoint and consultancy training provider IT Governance to educate and assist businesses still unpicking and understanding the implications – and potential impact on their business – of the General Data Protection Regulation requirements and deadline for compliance.
The partnership announcement follows a recent Millgate survey which found 80% had either not looked at GDPR yet or were unaware of the new regulations.
Of those surveyed, just 2.5% of businesses were prepared and ready, 5% expected to be compliant in time while 12.5% had started preparations – but admitted compliance would take them longer than the May 2018 deadline.
Millgate MD Chris Calvert said: “The poll highlights a worrying lack of awareness about GDPR especially among SMEs, with the majority alarmingly under-prepared.
“Fewer than 10% of firms we spoke to are either ready for GDPR or expect to be compliant in time, which, even as a snapshot statistic, suggests the city business region needs assistance in preparing – especially given employees may require training, and software implemented to ensure security.
“Through our partnership with Bitdefender, Forcepoint and IT Governance we can provide first step assistance to help organisations address the challenges of GDPR compliance with a comprehensive suite of information resources, training courses, toolkits, and consultancy services.”
IT Governance founder and executive chairman Alan Calder said: “Since May last year, our GDPR Foundation and Practitioner training courses have helped more than 2,000 professionals get a comprehensive understanding of the regulation and gain the practical skills to achieve compliance.
“The GDPR requirements mean there is considerable work to be done assessing risks and implementing new controls before it is enforced. Organisations should take action now and equip professionals involved in GDPR compliance projects with the skills and practical understanding to meet the Regulation’s requirements in both a cost and time-effective manner.
“Under GDPR, organisations have a responsibility to themselves and the general public to uphold the security of personal data. With fines of up to 4% of global turnover and data subjects’ rights to pursue legal actions for unlawful processing, businesses should recognise the benefits of compliance and re-think their customer relationships.”
The poll by Millgate*, based on Vantage Drive in Sheffield, was carried out at the Connect Sheffield event of attendees or other exhibitors from a sample size of 40.
The research follows national research** that discovered less than one in ten UK SME owners fully understands what GDPR means for their business or have taken appropriate steps to prepare.
GDPR overhauls previous data protection directives to give more power back to the data subject. Companies around the UK and EU must ensure they are compliant with the new directives before the May 2018 deadline – or will be at risk of substantial fines and reputational damage.