Most SME’s not ready for GDPR

Cloud computing and social media have changed the way we process personal data on the internet. Enter the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation): an updated version of the data protection directive (1995), a legislation to protect European civilians against the use of their personal information. Companies not compliant to the new regulations by May 25th 2018 may expect fines leading up to 4% of the annual revenue. Yet study shows that most companies are not aware.

Research by Infradata (source) among Dutch companies concludes that 57% of Small Enterprises are unfamiliar with GDPR. While bigger companies may be more informed, there still is a 30% portion not aware of the necessary steps and repercussions related to GDPR. The new regulations will directly binding and applicable for all members of the European Union. So what about Belgian businesses? They don’t seem better off, if not worse.

According to De Standaard (2/8/2017) the Belgian Privacy Commission does not put enough effort in informing Belgian business owners on the consequences. “I have asked the Privacy Commission more than once to urgently start giving guidelines and clarifications”, tells State Secretary of Privacy Philippe De Backer to De Standaard. “Businesses should know what they’re up to”.

Does this affect my company?
Each business to collect personal information - from collecting email addresses in a contest to maintaining an online customer base – falls under the legislation of GDPR. Private data should be encrypted and preferably supervised by a Data Protection Officer. Companies working with online data are advised to get familiar with the regulations. Visitors of the EuroCloud Forum 2017 can ask their questions directly to international lawyers. In 4 afternoon sessions GDPR specialists will guide you through different topics, from basic knowledge to the actual implementation. Company staff dealing directly with GDPR on a functional level can learn how to conduct a Readiness Assessment or handle security issues.

Despite the negative image regarding the fines and repercussions, the GDPR is an important step towards data security and privacy protection in Europe. To stimulate companies to invest in information security the Belgian Cyber Security Convention teams up with EuroCloud Europe for a double bill bringing the worlds of Cyber Security and Cloud Computing together.

Tickets sold are valid for both conferences. More information on the EuroCloud Forum program can be found here.

Michael Lombarts