Half of British firms are aware of the proposed European data protection changes and a significant number feel that the new directive will create significant challenges for them.
The survey of 850 IT decision makers by Trend Micro, which included 250 British respondents, found that 84 per cent felt that they would need to take steps to be compliant, with 57 per cent feeling the need to spend on data protection or IT security (51 per cent).
Trend Micro’s James Walker said that there is a lack of knowledge around the proposed changes and said that the impact will be felt by those who were not ready. “There is a lack of understanding of the regulation and there will be an impact on business.”
The research found that 50 per cent of UK businesses were completely unaware of the impending legislation, and only ten per cent completely understood what steps they needed to take to achieve compliance.
Vinod Bange, partner at law firm Taylor Wessing, said that the view from the industry was that this was fit for purpose, but what was interesting was that after being proposed in January 2012, it had stagnated and not moved on. “I believe it is not dead and in the last few weeks we have seen this moving on bit by bit, and the German regulator is behind that Safe Harbour,” he said. “That is looking at it in more detail and what we are seeing is more positive with fundamental points and we hope to see more and get to a resolution by the end of the year.”
“The research also found that 25 per cent of British businesses had no idea of proposed fines. “With ratification expected in 2014, it’s alarming to see how little is known about such key privacy regulations,” said Rik Ferguson, vice president of security research at Trend Micro. “This effects every organisation, regardless of size. This is not just an IT issue, duty to comply falls to everyone from the receptionist right up to the CEO.”