WatchGuard: Channel Needs to Educate Customers About GDPR


With the deadline for compliance less than a year away, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is causing massive confusion among organizations around the world in terms of whether it applies to them and what actions are necessary.

That’s according to the results of a global survey of 1,600 organizations announced by WatchGuard Technologies and conducted by Vanson Bourne, an independent market research firm.

During a presentation titled, “Preparing Customers for a Harsh GDPR Reality,” at Channel Partners Evolution, Sept. 25-28, in Austin, Texas, Gary Southwell, CSPi’s vice president and general manager, products division, will tell partners how to help their clients with GDPR compliance. Register now!

Tracy Hillstrom, WatchGuard’s director of product marketing, tells Channel Partners the key opportunity for the channel is to educate organizations in their target market about the GDPR, consult with them on a plan to become compliant, and provide the solutions and project management services to get it all done in time.

“Over half of the respondents who know that they need to comply agree that they will need to make significant changes to IT infrastructure,” she said. “At least half of these same respondents said that network security measures including firewall, VPN, encryption and web filtering will be part of their compliance strategy; and 58 percent said that they may consider help from outside their organization for GDPR compliance. So, now is a great time for the channel to become very vocal about how they can help organizations to reach compliance before the regulation takes effect. Furthermore, network security providers can guide customers to implement a full range of technologies that prevent attacks, and identify and respond to threats beyond what firewall, VPN, encryption and web filtering can do on their own.”

With the GDPR deadline set for May 25, 2018, a surprising 37 percent of respondents don’t know whether their organization needs to comply, while more than a quarter believe their organization doesn’t need to comply at all.

According to 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 organization, one in seven collects personal data from EU citizens, while 28 percent of respondents who were unsure about compliance also collect this type of information.

While many organizations have been aware of GDPR for some time, just one in 10 (10 percent)  respondents believe their company is completely ready for compliance, while 44 percent said they don’t actually know how close their organization is to compliance. Of those who reported that their business needs to comply with GDPR (35 percent of total respondents), 86 percent believe …

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