Unprepared Irish SMEs will be caught out by the GDPR

With the GDPR less than a year off, corporate companies are really starting to get into gear. However, the same cannot be said for SMEs in Ireland.

DataSolutions on behalf of the GDPR Awareness Coalition, a partner of IT Governance, carried out a survey of 200+ companies at TechConnect Live. The results of the survey are dismal and frightening to say the least. When Irish SMEs were asked how high a priority GDPR compliance is to their company, over a quarter (26%) responded with “not a priority”, while almost half (45%) indicated that the GDPR was “only one of a number of priorities”. A staggering 53% of companies admitted that they have yet to begin their compliance process, and a mere 2% of all companies surveyed believe they are already GDPR compliant.

While this survey did show that awareness of the GDPR is on the rise in Ireland (only 16% of companies admitted they still had not heard of the Regulation), it still highlights that, with less than 12 months until the GDPR comes into effect, Irish companies are still woefully unprepared.

The typical Irish attitude that ‘sure it won’t happen to me’ can’t be applied to the GDPR. This new regulation gives Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon and her team a new suite of enforcement powers, including significant monetary fines. Helen Dixon has vowed to use these, warning “There’s not going to be any amnesty or first or second chances.”

As the large multinationals that have set up shop in Ireland are busy getting everything in order ahead of 25 May 2018, the companies that remain in a state of ignorance will get caught out and it could cost them dearly.

Irish SMEs need to step up and start their preparations now, before it is too late.

Take the first step towards implementing GDPR compliance – attend our GDPR training in Dublin.

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