Companies throughout Europe, whether intentionally or otherwise, may be mishandling our data, leading to some potentially damaging consequences – this is the finding of new research conducted by Kaspersky Lab, published under the title ‘From Overwhelmed to Empowered: The IT Department’s Journey Towards Good Data Health’, which aimed to find out more about the pressures IT decision makers are under to get data protection right and their collective ability to do so.

The Europe-wide research project, which involved the questioning of over 2,000 IT decision makers in organisations with more than 50 employees throughout the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, revealed that only 55% of IT professionals have faith that other organisations are looking after their personal data properly while 45% have their doubts; a truly alarming insight from a group who know the subject well. By-and-large the concern expressed by the research’s participants centres around the ever-increasing number of companies and organisations that have access to our data, and how those organisations handle said data. To break that claim down to tangible figures, despite a large majority of respondents (73%) saying that the security of their private data is indeed important, 64% expressed worry about how many organisations have access to their personal information, while 67% are genuinely concerned about the possibility of their personal information being accessed by hackers.

The research also found that 32% of respondents are not confident that their own organisation can successfully demonstrate how, and from where, the personal data it holds is sourced, which could of course have some severe consequences under the terms of the GDPR. It is worth noting however that some parts of Europe show higher levels of trust and confidence among IT professionals than others. For example, 76% of IT decision makers in France trust organisations to protect their data, compared to just 56% in the UK and a shockingly-low 48% in Germany.

Adam Maskatiya, General Manager at Kaspersky Lab UK, commented, “Given they deal with the challenges of data security as part of their daily role, it is perhaps no surprise that IT professionals feel strongly about personal data protection. They see threats from all directions and are acutely aware of the repercussions of a security breach.

“However, it is concerning to see that their experiences have led to them losing faith in organisations and their peers. This clearly indicates that there is a long way to go before businesses are actually treating the data in their care with the respect it deserves - and before the GDPR deadline hits.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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