GDPR fines may result in closure of Irish firms, DataSolutions survey finds

Business, Technology | Thu 14 Sep | Author – Business & Finance
Michael O’Hara, Managing Director, DataSolutions and David Keating, security specialist, DataSolutions

23% of Irish organisations could be forced to close their businesses if found liable to fines under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, according to DataSolutions.

Conducted in July of this year by TechPro magazine and commissioned by DataSolutions, the survey saw 112 senior IT decision-makers take part. Depending of which is the greatest, €20 million or 4% of global turnover could be as large as the fines can get for non-compliance with GDPR guidelines. As well as large fines, 10% of respondents say they will have to lay off a good portion of their workforce in order to keep trading. Another 18% said their organisations could keep trading but with a majorly-reduced impact.

Even with the threat of fines and the prospect of businesses shutting down, 20% of firms say GDPR compliance isn’t a priority at the moment. This is due to the fines introduction on the 25 May next year.

A little over a third of businesses (34%) will set aside finances to address compliance with the GDPR and adjust annual budgets to meet this. With this nearly all (93%) said they would spend more than last year on cybersecurity and only a third have two-factor authentication when deploying network security.

Security specialist at DataSolutions David Keating, said: “The results of this year’s survey outline how the changing information security environment is having a direct effect on Irish organisations. GDPR fines could have a huge impact on companies, with a significant number of those unable to pay the amounts required being forced to cease trading. To avoid fines and safeguard their futures, Irish businesses need to make achieving compliance one of their top priorities.

“As well as this, simple enhancements such as implementing two-factor authentication can dramatically improve an organisation’s information security standing. It’s time for organisations to realise that cybercriminals are incredibly sophisticated, and to do everything they can to stay one step ahead.”

Additional findings which stemmed from the survey will be released and discussed at the Secure Computing Forum on Thursday the 21 September at the Aviva Stadium.