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Despite progress, 60% of EU and 50% of U.S. cybersecurity professionals worry about compliance by the May deadline

Varonis Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNS), a leading provider of software solutions that protect data from insider threats and cyberattacks, released findings from an independent survey exploring readiness and attitudes toward the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implementation deadline. The survey, which polled 500 cybersecurity professionals in the UK, Germany, France and U.S., highlights GDPR readiness shortcomings, with more than half (57%) of professionals concerned about compliance with the standard.

With just a few months before the May 25, 2018 deadline, 60% of respondents in the EU and 50% of respondents in the U.S. say they face some serious challenges in being GDPR compliant. Among other notable findings:

  • 38% of respondents report that their organisations do not view compliance with GDPR by the deadline as a priority.
  • 74% believe that adhering to the GDPR will give them a competitive advantage over other organisations in their sector.
  • For UK respondents, 58% think that implementing data protection by design poses the greatest challenge in meeting the GDPR, followed by the right to erasure/”to be forgotten.”

“It’s encouraging to see progress made surrounding the GDPR, and yet it’s deeply concerning that more than half of the organisations surveyed continue to face compliance challenges,” said Varonis CMO David Gibson. “The GDPR represents a significant change in the way data must be handled. It’s alarming that so many respondents simply aren’t worried, especially given that many organisations are not tackling the biggest problems and best practices around data collection, management and protection. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to the GDPR, and organisations that have fallen behind in their preparations must ramp up their compliance activities or they could take a serious financial hit once the regulations take effect.”

Other interesting findings include:

  • One in four U.S. respondents believe their firms need not comply with GDPR.
  • 36% of respondents in the UK, 35% in Germany and 42% in France report being in compliance.
  • In the UK, 51% of respondents say their organisation is more than 50% complete in their compliance process.

The independent survey on top concerns, approaches and experiences of cybersecurity professionals regarding the GDPR was commissioned by Varonis and carried out by Survey Sampling International. Respondents were 500 cybersecurity professionals from organisations with 1,000+ employees from the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States. The survey was conducted by SSI from September 28 – October 6, 2017.