The incoming implementation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the biggest factors affecting how companies think about their data security in today's business environment, along with the changing computing habits of a younger workforce.
These are among the findings of a recent study from the Ponemon Institute and Citrix, which found that while two-thirds of companies around the world are aware of the GDPR, only half of enterprises have started to make preparations.
Companies that do business in Europe will have to adapt their operations to meet the challenges that the regulation will create. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74 per cent) say GDPR will have a significant and negative impact on business operations, while 65 per cent are worried about the new penalties for failing to meet privacy obligations, which will be up to €100 million or four per cent of annual worldwide revenue.
Some 52 per cent of respondents do not feel that their security infrastructure is able to adequately meet compliance and regulatory demands with a centralized approach to controlling, monitoring and reporting of data.
Therefore, giving employees the tools they need to keep data safe wherever they are will be essential in ensuring firms remain compliant with the GDPR. For example, providing privacy screens for mobile devices that can prevent sensitive data being viewed by unauthorised individuals could be essential in reducing the risk of data breaches.
This may be particularly important as employees' digital habits change. For instance, the survey found that younger workers in particular are seen as posing the greatest security risk, with these digitally-savvy individuals more likely than older workers to circumvent security policies or use unapproved mobile apps.
According to figures from Deloitte, this generation is particularly interested in remote and mobile working, with three-quarters of millennials (77 per cent) wanting greater mobile connectivity in their workplace.
Chief marketing officer at Citrix Tim Minahan commented: "As digital transformation has evolved the workplace to be everywhere, access is no longer limited to enterprise networks. And while the modern workforce is more flexible and productive, traditional security approaches also need to evolve."