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GDPR Spurring Organisations to Protect Data

Protect Data

No one likes a compliance audit, let alone one that’s painful. But that’s a sore reality many IT professionals may someday face if they don’t prepare now for the impending European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In a nutshell, GDPR aims to unify and simplify data protection across 28 countries within the EU. The regulation is expected to include a strict data protection compliance regime with severe penalties of up to 100M EUR or up to five percent of worldwide turnover for organisations in breach of its rules.

In June, the European Commission gave its strongest signal yet that it looks to reach agreement on GDPR by the end of the year. That should give IT pros a bit of time to get their compliance procedures in order, but from the looks of surveys that Ipswitch has conducted on the issue, they still have their work cut out for them.

A survey we recently gave to more than 300 IT professionals revealed that 68 per cent of them believe keeping up to date with changing data protection regulatory requirements is a financial burden on their businesses. Ninety per cent of those surveyed said their businesses store personal data, 86 per cent process personal data, and more than a third (40 per cent) share data externally.

It’s encouraging to see in that same survey that IT pros recognise the need to meet new regulations so they can protect their customers’ data. It’s discouraging to learn many believe that compliance will come at a cost. But these IT professionals and their organisations will soon have no choice but to improve compliance, particularly with penalties ranging up to two percent of worldwide company revenue.

The good news from another survey we conducted was that when given the option to choose between Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) technology like Dropbox and Managed File Transfer (MFT) technology that Ipswitch offers, 96 percent of the IT pros chose MFT to feel assured they were protecting personal data.

The reason why it’s good news is that this summer we released two new solutions for our MOVEit Managed File Transfer platform that aren’t cost prohibitive. The solutions give organisations the security and visibility they need to safeguard against data loss for regulatory and policy compliance.

First, Ipswitch Failover provides IT teams with a much-needed solution to guarantee zero data loss and no single point of failure across an organisation while also simplifying file transfer operations. The solution maximizes file transfer success of critical and sensitive data, and thus meets regulatory and compliance regulations by protecting against data loss.

We also introduced Ipswitch Analytics. It’s a reporting and monitoring solution that gives IT teams deep insight into business critical file transfers through an innovative analytics engine that includes an interactive activity monitor, automated report creation and distribution, and fine-grained access control. Analytics streamlines the management and troubleshooting of file transfers and improves customer support, which hopefully offsets the argument that new compliance regulations can hurt business.

It shouldn’t take a shift in regulations to have organisations suddenly strive for zero data loss. They seem to realize this, and tell us they want to keep up with modern data sharing practices and the globalisation of data. Nonetheless, GDPR seems to have spurred them into action. Last year, more than half of the IT professionals we surveyed couldn’t accurately identify what GDPR means, and of those that did know what it meant, more than half admitted they were not ready for it.

So organisations indeed have come a long way in just less than a year. With proper training, resources and expected investments in new technologies, they should be ready to meet the expectations of GDPR and ensure the protection of data. That would be good news.

About the author

Michael Hack

Senior Vice President EMEA Operations, Ipswitch File Transfer

Michael has many years of experience in IT firms in different software segments and markets. Prior to starting with Ipswitch, Michael was President at Sitecore a global leader in customer experience management software. Prior to this he acted as Senior Vice President Sales EMEA & International at the Enterprise Search Group at Microsoft. Previous Experience included roles as Sales Director Central Europe at SABA, head of the SAP Competence Centre at IXOS Software AG (today OpenText), international sales and product manager at CompuNet AG and sales manager for SAP’s software solution. Michael studied business economics and holds a degree as “Diplom-Kaufmann” (Diploma in Business Administration).