New research commissioned by Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) – a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally – has found GDPR is delivering a profoundly positive effect for European businesses. Check Point has also developed a new application called GDPRate to guide businesses through the essential components of an effective GDPR compliance strategy.
The study of 1,000 CTOs, CIOs, IT managers and security managers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK sought to understand how European companies have addressed the requirements of GDPR. It revealed that three-quarters (75%) of organisations believe GDPR has had a beneficial impact on consumer trust, and 73% claim it has boosted their data security.
Meanwhile, two-thirds (60%) of those polled say their business has fully adopted all GDPR measures, with just 4% still to begin the process. And when asked to rate their performance in dealing with GDPR requirements on a scale from 0 to 10 (where 0 is ‘not at all’ and 10 is ‘totally’), the average score given was an optimistic 7.91.
One potential reason for this positivity is the strategic approach to data security that GDPR has encouraged. The research discovered that around two-thirds (65%) of the CTOs, CIOs, IT managers and security managers believe their company has an organic and strategic approach to cybersecurity. This strategic approach is defined as one where measures are applied from the bottom up – and this is being used to meet the obligations of GDPR.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented on 25th May 2018 with the aim of returning the control of data to individual citizens in the EU. The regulation was met with confusion in some quarters when it came into effect, due to a lack of explicit guidance. Just over a year on, Check Point Software and OnePoll wanted to understand what approaches organisations have used to become compliant.
The study reveals that significant progress has been made across Europe – and that’s down to a number of different initiatives. Over half (53%) of respondents said their organisation set up a GDPR working group. Another 45% allocated budget to cover the costs of implementing GDPR, while 41% employed GDPR consultants.
From an IT perspective, the most common steps taken to meet the security requirements imposed by GDPR are:
- Adopting standard security measures (44%)
- Initiating training for employees to increase their understanding of data security risks (41%)
- Implementing an access and encryption control system (41%)
The research reveals that although addressing GDPR requirements resulted in considerable expense (27% of respondents invested between USD 55,000 and USD 165,300), these investments have started to repay themselves in the form of benefits such as improved customer trust and data security.
Rafi Kretchmer, Head of Product Marketing at Check Point Software said: “What’s clear from this research is that many European organisations have made significant progress in implementing the steps required to become GDPR compliant. And quite a few are already seeing powerful benefits. But for many firms there’s still a lot that can be done.”
“It’s important for organisations to adopt robust frameworks to meet the demands of GDPR, rather than simply shutting down access to tools and platforms that both employees and customers want to use – like mobile devices and the cloud. There are relatively easy-to-integrate methods of keeping data safe – such as document encryption and hard drive encryption. These approaches can ensure sensitive business data is protected, preventing data leaks and unauthorised access to data on stolen devices.”
GDPR’s main aim is to protect private data, so cloud solutions came under scrutiny. Overall, 83% of those polled said their organisation uses cloud solutions. But many are more cautious about how the cloud is employed following GDPR’s introduction. Just 7% of companies took the drastic measure of ceasing to use cloud solutions altogether as a result of GDPR, denying themselves the many benefits on offer, including (ironically) enhanced security. The results of the research show that the cloud remains central to data security moving forwards.
The three most-anticipated long-term benefits of GDPR were found to be:
- Helping organisations to demonstrate their focus on customers’ data and increasing loyalty (45%)
- Making operations more efficient, especially regarding cybersecurity (44%)
- Providing a more comprehensive view on the information processed by the company (40%)
Find out more about how Check Point can help you implement and support your GDPR programs here: https://www.checkpoint.com/solutions/gdpr/
Check Point has also developed a new application called GDPRate to guide businesses through the essential components of an effective GDPR compliance strategy. The tool checks the organization’s readiness for the GDPR 14 security standards and requirements as it pertains to using security products to comply with these standards. The tool can be accessed for free at: https://pages.checkpoint.com/gdprate.html
For more information about the report click here.
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