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More Than One in Three Australian Businesses Unsure if They Need to Comply with GDPR

New survey findings shed light on worldwide confusion and unpreparedness in the face of looming GDPR compliance deadline 

Sydney – September 14, 2017WatchGuard Technologies, a leader in advanced network security solutions, today announced the results of a global survey that explores how well global as well as Australian organisations understand Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  and their readiness for its fast approaching compliance deadline. The findings indicate widespread confusion about GDPR compliance criteria and an overall lack of preparation. The survey examines the views of more than 1,600 organisations across the globe and was conducted by independent market research firm, Vanson Bourne.

Uncertainty and Confusion 

With the GDPR deadline set for May 25, 2018, many organisations are ill-prepared due to uncertainty about the criteria for compliance. A staggering 37 percent of respondents globally and 36 per cent of organisations in Australia simply don’t know whether or not their organisation needs to comply with GDPR, while more than a quarter (28 percent) believe their organisation doesn’t need to comply at all.  This compares in stark contrast to Australia where 50 per cent of organisations do not believe their organisation needs to comply with the GDPR deadline.

According to the GDPR criteria, any company that stores or processes personal information about EU citizens must demonstrate compliance. Of the respondents who don’t believe the law applies to their organisation, one in seven (14 percent) globally collect personal data from EU citizens, while 28 percent of respondents globally who were unsure about GDPR compliance also collect this type of information. So, not only is there a general lack of awareness about GDPR, but the survey findings also highlight that companies are misinterpreting which types of data constitute a mandate for compliance.

“Australian business will feel the impact of GDPR once enforcement of the new legislation comes into force.  However, the data shows that a worrying number of organisations are still unaware or mistaken about the necessity for GDPR compliance.  In Australia, just 13 percent of organisations believe they’ll need to comply. With sensitive customer data and noncompliance fines at stake, every company with access to data from European Union citizens needs to ensure they truly comprehend the ramifications of  GDPR,” said Paul Sadler, APAC Marketing Manager, WatchGuard Technologies.

Preparedness – or Lack Thereof

While many organisations have been aware of GDPR for some time, just 10 percent of respondents globally and 17 percent of Australian respondents believe their company is currently 100 percent ready for its inception. In another illustration of the lack of clarity and communication around GDPR, 44 percent of respondents globally and 50 per cent of respondents in Australia stated that they don’t actually know how close their organisation is to compliance.

Of those who reported that their organisation needs to comply with GDPR majority (35 percent of total respondents), 86 percent of organisations globally and 83 percent of Australian organisations believe they currently have a solid compliance strategy in place; with firewalls, VPN and encryption identified as the security measures most likely to be involved in these strategies.

However, 51 percent of respondents globally and 67 per cent of Australian respondents believe that their organisation will need to make significant changes to their IT infrastructure in order to comply. As such, time is running out, and companies are feeling the pressure. Respondents from organisations that are not yet GDPR compliant estimate it will take an average of seven months to complete the requirements.  Australians claimed that they would need double this time to complete the requirements.

In order to bridge the gap, nearly half (48 percent) of respondents’ organisations are seeking – or might seek – compliance assistance from an outside party.   In comparison, just one in three Australian organisations will seek external assistance.

“Penalties for noncompliance are steep and the deadline is just around the corner,” said Corey Nachreiner, chief technology officer of WatchGuard.  “Companies stand to lose four percent of their worldwide revenue if they haven’t met all the requirements by next May. The only way to prevent unnecessary fines and frustration is to take a good hard look at the criteria, assemble a GDPR plan of action and begin implementing it immediately.” 

Delivering strong, enterprise-grade security, WatchGuard’s Firebox security appliances with Total Security Suite address 16 of SANS Top 20 Critical Security Controls (v6). These controls provide customers with the type of all-in-one, easy-to-use data security measures needed for GDPR compliance. 

GDPR Infographic

For more information and helpful resources, visit the WatchGuard GDPR Resource Center.

About WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.

WatchGuard® Technologies, Inc. is a global leader in network security, providing best-in-class Unified Threat Management, Next Generation Firewall, secure Wi-Fi, and network intelligence products and services to more than 75,000 customers worldwide. The company’s mission is to make enterprise-grade security accessible to companies of all types and sizes through simplicity, making WatchGuard an ideal solution for Distributed Enterprises and SMBs. WatchGuard is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. To learn more, visit 

For additional information, promotions and updates, follow WatchGuard on Twitter, @WatchGuard on Facebook, or on the LinkedIn Company page. Also, visit our InfoSec blog, Secplicity, for real-time information about the latest threats and how to cope with them at


FQ Editor

Written by FQ Editor

Press release from an outside source. Please consult the organisation directly for details about this release.

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