SPONSORED: Resellers ambivalent about whether GDPR will have teeth, CRN research finds

clock • 2 min read

GDPR is being hailed as 'data protection on steroids', but the majority of IT suppliers questioned in a recent CRN/SolarWinds MSP study believe rule flouters will not be punished

Less than a fifth of IT resellers, MSPs and consultancies across Europe believe the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have real teeth when it comes into play on 25 May 2018.

That's according to new research from CRN, which quizzed over 250 resellers and other channel firms in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

"Most of the market believe there will be a period of grace," - marketing director/CMO, UK consultancy

The research, carried out in September in conjunction with SolarWinds MSP, forms part of an ebook that has been translated into GermanFrenchItalian and Dutch

Billed as "data protection on steroids", GDPR certainly raises the bar on the current patchwork of data protection regulations currently in force around Europe, with non-compliers facing fines of up to the greater of €20m or four per cent of global turnover.

But most IT suppliers questioned were sceptical about how rigidly it will be enforced.

In the UK, just 21 per cent said the GDPR ‘will have real teeth, and firms should ensure they are full compliant from day one'. The figure was similar or even lower in most mainland European countries (Germany: seven per cent, France: 23 per cent, Italy: 19 per cent, the Netherlands: eight per cent). Across all the survey respondents, the figure was 18 per cent. The full results can be viewed in the UK, GermanFrenchItalian and Dutch ebooks.

IT suppliers across the five countries were also invited to leave - anonymous - detailed written feedback about GDPR, and many of respondents felt that it would be some time at least before the regulators tasked with enforcing GDPR throw the book at non-compliers.

"Everyone knows it's a potential issue, but most are sceptical about it because of the "hype" factor. Having been to events recently most of the market believe there will be a period of grace," said the marketing director/CMO of one UK consultancy.

But a manager at another UK consultancy, added: "I believe that the GDPR will be a game changer for personal data security. I believe that customers have, and will continue to become, more savvy about the personal data and if a company disregards the trusted position they are being put in as the custodian of personal data then they are going to be severely stung. Companies are starting the wake up to the issue, but there is definitely a challenge arising in getting companies to realize the enormity of the situation sooner rather than later."

The CFO of a UK MSP added: "Once the realisation of the teeth that the legislator has becomes apparent then it will be taken more seriously."

This article was commissioned by SolarWinds MSP

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