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comment STORM CLOUDS GATHER OVER GDPR Atotal of 69% of board-level executives are neglecting to ensure the UK businesses they run will comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The worrying figures were in a survey of 500 IT decision-makers in companies with more than 100 employees and £15 million turnover, examining how businesses are preparing for the new regulation. Only 31% of respondents said they had governance sponsorship for GDPR at board level, while just 9% said their compliance departments were giving them full support. This lack of interest at the top level comes despite more than six out of 10 (62%) respondents agreeing that the new regulation would affect the profitability of their business, including 19% who said the impact would be negative. "It is worrying to see signs that GDPR governance does not have the full attention of so many C-level executives," said Julian Box, CEO, at cloud solution provider Calligo, which carried out the research. "Too many of those at the top think it is all about security, when that is only a part of it. The deadline for compliance is May 25 next year and any company that subsequently fails to handle data in the correct manner risks the severe penalties stipulated in the regulation. The top people in every organisation need to get to grips with this challenge, ensuring that their data is being stored and handled in full compliance." The survey found that only 43% of companies have appointed and resourced a data protection officer, despite this being a requirement of the GDPR for medium-sized and larger businesses. In IT and telecoms, the figure is just 37%, while in manufacturing and utilities it is just 36%. On average, organisations said they will employ 10 people on the task of achieving GDPR compliance, with healthcare sector proving the most committed, devoting an average 26 employees. This compares with averages of nine in IT and telecoms and four in arts and culture. The underlying problem is that too many organisations see the May 2018 deadline as some distant object that need not concern them just yet. Yet, as they concentrate on running the business, they ignore GDPR compliance at their peril. The way to regard it is that failure to comply could be tantamount to heavily compromising the very business they feel they are nurturing - by ignoring the gathering storm. Brian Wall Editor Computing Security EDITOR: Brian Wall ( PRODUCTION: Abby Penn ( LAYOUT/DESIGN: Ian Collis ( SALES: Edward O’Connor ( + 44 (0)1689 616 000 PUBLISHER: John Jageurs ( Published by Barrow & Thompkins Connexions Ltd (BTC) 35 Station Square, Petts Wood, Kent, BR5 1LZ Tel: +44 (0)1689 616 000 Fax: +44 (0)1689 82 66 22 SUBSCRIPTIONS: UK: £35/year, £60/two years, £80/three years; Europe: £48/year, £85/two years, £127/three years R.O.W:£62/year, £115/two years, £168/three years Single copies can be bought for £8.50 (includes postage & packaging). Published 6 times a year. © 2017 Barrow & Thompkins Connexions Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of the magazine may be reproduced without prior consent, in writing, from the publisher. July/August 2017 computing security @CSMagAndAwards 3