McAfee: Most Organisations Don’t Understand Data Regulations


Nearly half of organisations say they will migrate data as a result of regulation or changing government policies.

McAfee 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.

The report shows that 48% of organisations will migrate their data to a new location because of regulations like the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A similar amount will migrate their data because of changing geopolitics or the approach to relevant policies in the United States. 70% of respondents believe the implementation of GDPR will make Europe a world leader in data protection; although, the United States remains the most popular data storage destination.

Based on a survey of 800 senior business decision-makers across multiple industry sectors and eight countries, the report explores how organisations view 11 key data regulations from around the world, including the 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.

“It’s critical that businesses do everything they can to protect one of the world’s most valuable assets: data,” said Raj Samani, Chief Scientist and Fellow at McAfee. “The good news is that businesses are finding that stricter data protection regulations benefit both consumers and their bottom line. However, many have short-term barriers to overcome to become compliant, for example, to reduce the time it takes to report a breach.”

Also relevant, 51% of all respondents say their organisation is being held back from technology investment because of external data protection regulations. However, only 2% of management really understand the laws that apply to their organisations. Most organisations are ‘unsure’ of where their data is stored. Only 47% of organisations know where their data is stored at all times.

The report also found that organisations take 11 days on average to report a breach. Many organisations are also relying on cloud service providers. Eight in 10 respondents organisations are planning, at least in part, to leverage their cloud service provider to help achieve data protection compliance.

Overall, the report reveals conflicting beliefs about data protection regulations. While global events and a tightening of data protection rules gives senior decision-makers pause when determining their company’s technology investment, most organisations 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.


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