70% Of Business Decision-Makers Say GDPR Will Make EU World Leader In Data Protection: McAfee

McAfee today released a new report, Do you know where your data is? Beyond GDPR: Data residency insights from around the world, which highlights businesses’ approach to data residency, management, and protection in light of global events, policies and the changing regulatory data protection landscape.

Based on a survey of 800 senior business decision-makers from across multiple industry sectors and eight countries, the report provides a comprehensive view of how organizations view 11 key data regulations from around the world, including the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will toughen and simplify laws protecting personal data for over 500 million people residing in the European Union once implemented in May 2018.

The report shows that nearly half (48 per cent) of organizations will migrate their data to a new location because of regulations like GDPR. A similar amount will migrate their data because of changing geopolitics or the approach to relevant policies in the United States. Seventy per cent of respondents believe the implementation of GDPR will make Europe a world leader in data protection; however, the United States remains the most popular data storage destination, preferred by nearly half of all organizations surveyed.

Some key findings from the report include the following:

  • Privacy sells: Data protection delivers commercial advantage. Seventy-four per cent of respondents believe organizations that properly apply data protection laws will attract new customers.
  • Regulations and policies present barriers to technology acquisition and investment: Approximately two-thirds of respondents say that GDPR (66 per cent), U.S. policies (63 per cent) and Brexit (63 per cent) either already have or will impact their organization’s technology acquisition investments, while approximately 20 per cent don’t yet know how these issues will impact their spending. More specifically, 51 per cent of all respondents say their organization is being held back from technology investment because of external data protection regulations.
  • Public opinion key to data decision-making. Eighty-three per cent of organizations take public sentiment towards data privacy into account when making data residency decisions.
  • Organizations take 11 days on average to report a breach.
  • Organizations put faith in cloud service providers. Eight in 10 respondent organizations are planning, at least in part, to leverage their cloud service provider to help achieve data protection compliance.
  • Most organizations are ‘unsure’ of where their data is stored. Only 47 per cent of organizations know where their data is stored at all times. The majority are unsure, at least some of the time.
  • Only two per cent of management really understand the laws that apply to their organizations. While a majority of respondents (54 per cent) believe their organization has a “complete understanding” of the data protection regulations that apply to them, just two per cent of senior decision-makers know all the clauses of regulations that apply to their organizations.

Overall, the report reveals conflicting beliefs about data protection regulations. While global events and a tightening of data protection rules give senior decision-makers pause when determining their company’s technology investment, most organizations look to store their data in those countries with the most stringent data protection policies. Clearly, there is recognition that, while businesses might not like strict compliance laws, they are beneficial to both customers and a company’s bottom line, even providing a competitive advantage in some cases. Moving forward, increased awareness and understanding about a company’s data assets will lead to better usage and protection.

For more information about today’s data protection landscape and to view the full report, visit: http://bit.ly/2wiOp6N


McAfee commissioned independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne to undertake the research upon which this report is based. The findings are based on the responses of more than 800 senior business decision-makers from across eight countries at companies ranging in size from 500 employees to more than 5,000 across a range of industry sectors, including financial services, private healthcare and the public sector. The survey targeted respondents with a range of business functions, from IT professionals to client services, HR, and engineering. Countries represented by respondents include Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States.

McAfee Canada maintains a website called “The State of Consumer and Enterprise Security in Canada” in order to provide a one-stop shop for writers looking for information on a variety of trends and issues affecting and shaping the Canadian security landscape. Feel free to check out the resource site for security information, statistics, story ideas, and access to published McAfee surveys and studies.


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