Insight & Analysis

Press release: 30% of European businesses are still not compliant with GDPR

Published: Jul 2019

22nd July 2019 – Almost a third (30%) of European businesses admit they are still not compliant with GDPR, according to a survey conducted by the European Business Awards on behalf of RSM, one of the largest audit, tax and consulting organisations of advisers with a focus specifically on the middle market. Despite it being over a year since GDPR came into effect, and a raft of fines from regulators only 57% of businesses are confident that their business follows the rules, with a further 13% unsure either way.

The impact of GDPR on Europe’s businesses

Improved the management of customer data 73%
Increased investment in cyber security 62%
Encouraged new, innovative uses of data 58%
Made businesses feel safer from cyber crime 51%
The cost of compliance has slowed growth 37%
Compliance has made our business more effective operationally 31%
GDPR has made it difficult for us to work with non-European businesses 28%

The compliance gap is not down to any single issue, with middle market businesses struggling to understand and implement a whole range of areas covered by the regulation. More than a third (38%) of non-compliant businesses do not understand when consent is required to hold and process data, 35% are unsure how they should monitor their employees’ use of personal data and 34% don’t understand what procedures are required to ensure third party supplier contracts are compliant.

Despite the lack of compliance, GDPR is starting to have a positive impact on cyber security within the EU. Almost three quarters (73%) of European businesses say GDPR has encouraged them to improve the way they manage customer data and 62% say it has seen them increase their investment in cyber security. There remains much more to do, however, with 21% of businesses admitting that they still have no cyber security strategy in place.

Steven Snaith, Technology Risk Assurance Partner at RSM UK, commented: “With so much pressure on organisations to meet complex requirements, we saw GDPR fatigue setting in last year. Middle market businesses were overwhelmed by information from the press, industry bodies and stakeholders. Many organisations simply gave up and reverted back to the old way of doing things.

“But there are signs that this fatigue is about to fade. High-profile fines across Europe have demonstrated that regulators across the EU are serious about enforcement. Businesses are scrambling to catch up once again.”

“One important aspect to note is that GDPR compliance is far wider than just policies, procedures and training. Underlying technology controls need to be robust to safeguard the leakage and unauthorised access of personal data”

Jean Stephens, CEO of RSM International, commented: “GDPR is complex and challenging, but it is also an opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves with their ability to respond and demonstrate their organisational agility. By letting go of legacy systems and rethinking the way they interact with data, these more entrepreneurial businesses can become more appealing partners and more innovative competitors on the global stage.”

All our content is free, just register below

As we move to a new and improved digital platform all users need to create a new account. This is very simple and should only take a moment.

Already have an account? Sign In

Already a member? Sign In

This website uses cookies and asks for your personal data to enhance your browsing experience. We are committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring your data is handled in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).