Yes, it’s true the Germans are better than us. Not at football or building cars as you might be thinking but at data security.
Despite possessing a thriving IT market here in the UK we are surprisingly very poor at data security. The likes of Luxembourg, Switzerland and Germany show us up when it comes to protecting data. It’s why the European Union decided to bring in the General Data Protection Regulation, because the UK along with many other EU member countries were so poor at Data Protection and possessed out-dated legislation when it came to protecting the way that we handle sensitive data. The Germans not only have stronger compliance, regulation and legislation in this area but they also enforce it strongly; fining and public naming companies who fall foul of their expected standards.
Now the Germans, Swiss and Luxembourgers are bringing the rest of us up to their standards. The problem is that most businesses in the UK aren’t ready for this sea change in expectation and we certainly don’t realise that we are going to be publicly named and shamed if we don’t comply, not to mention the fines. We are less than nine months away from D-Day when the EU GDPR comes into play in the UK. For most businesses, if they haven’t started doing something about GDPR now then they won’t be ready in time and they will be desperately scrabbling around come the 25th May 2018, trying to tick off as many of the things as they need to, prioritising the key things to get in place and leaving the others.
There are lots of easy things people can do to get ready, loads and loads in fact but it frustrates me that people are still standing around with their hands in their pockets. What are they waiting for? A data breach and the PR disaster that it will create? Or just hoping that someone else comes along and takes ownership. So many businesses and directors I speak to say that they don’t think that they would be fined for a breach but until the law comes into force, we just don’t know how this is going to play out.
It’s time for businesses to sit up and take notice. As a country we need to start taking the protection of sensitive data more seriously and up to the standards of the German et al.
If your business needs help with GDPR compliance, we have a whole range of resources which you can explore:
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