ISME: Irish businesses unprepared for new data protection regulations

Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (Isme) has today warned Irish companies to implement the changes to comply with a new data regulations.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force May 28 of this year, replacing the existing protection frameworks under the EU data protection directive.

A new General Data Protection Regulations survey by Isme gives a breakdown of GDPR compliance among SMEs and the actions taken to date on GDPR compliance.

It found that:

  • 83% of respondents are aware of GDPR
  • Only 7% of businesses of businesses have completed their GDPR plan.
  • 60% of respondents use and collect Personal Data.
  • 30% are unsure if what they hold is considered Personal Data
  • Only 38% could name any of the changes that GDPR will bring
  • 30% of business have identified the steps/actions needed for their business. 70% have not.
  • 76% of businesses are concerned about GDPR.
  • 32% of businesses are planning to use an outside resource to help with their GDPR action plan.
  • 67% of business would like to see training offered on GDPR
  • 41% of business have a staff member who is responsible for overseeing compliance with data protection and preparing for the GDPR.

ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said: "Today's results paint an interesting picture of GDPR compliance.

"We received a very healthy response to this survey, which tells us businesses are curious about it. One of the main findings is that businesses are aware of GDPR, but know very little about the intricacies of compliance."

"The impact of non-compliance of GDPR on a business could be serious, as there is a serious fines regime in place to discourage it.

"Businesses must take these new measures seriously.

"In order to ensure SMEs are GDPR-ready, we will be holding bespoke SME GDPR training sessions in February to assist businesses in the transition period in Dublin, Cork and Limerick."

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