Thursday 8 December 2016

Almost 70pc of chief financial officers are unaware of new data protection laws

Sean Duffy

Published 17/11/2016 | 09:33

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A new survey has revealed that almost seven out of ten (69pc) chief financial officers (cfos) are unaware of changes to data protection laws which could massively affect their businesses.

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Research commissioned by BT Ireland, and conducted by Amárach Research into large domestic and multinational firms showed that just 28pc of cfos were aware of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation which came into force earlier this year. The survey was conducted amongst cfos at companies with an average of 800 employees.

The new Privacy Shield between the EU and the US will see much more strict enforcement on the sharing of EU citizen’s data with US firms.

Thirty-two percent of cfos who responded said they believed the Privacy Shield will have a significant impact, with 20pc believing it will have no impact whatsoever.

Over one third (34pc) sof cfos said that they spend significant sums on technology including hardware and software.

“With just over two thirds of cfos unfamiliar with the latest EU data protection regulation, the question you have to ask is "are boardroom decision-makers aware of the penalties associated with a data breach"? said  Shay Walsh, Managing Director of BT Ireland.

“We are in an era of unprecedented data regulation and a divided organisation risks massive penalties and serious reputational damage by not understanding the implications. CFOs, in collaboration with their boardroom peers, need to understand the impact of their tech spend, and ensure they have clear procedures, policies and compliance in place, in preparation for the changes coming in May 2018.

“We work as a trusted partner with organisations, locally and globally, to help them navigate the data protection minefield, providing a global footprint of industry-leading data centre services, underpinned by internationally recognised compliance accreditations and secure network capabilities. Our experience and expertise enables our clients to shape the right solution for their strategic business, IT and regulatory needs, and that value cannot be underestimated," Mr Walsh added.

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