A shocking number of Businesses in the NW are not prepared for the implementation of GDPR next week, a local cyber security expert has said.

Daniel McLaughlin, from Derry-based technology firm MCL Services, says the low level of preparation locally is putting businesses at serious risk.

Mr McLaughlin has been working at the coalface in ensuring companies are compliant with the game-changing EU General Data Protection Regulation.

“We estimate that up to 80% of business in the North West have zero to minimal levels of preparation for the EU GDPR, which comes into effect at the end of next week.

“The level of preparedness we've encountered in Derry, Donegal and Tyrone is shocking given that the GDPR penalties are potentially business-ending. A breach will no longer result in a slap on the wrist and minor fine. As of May 25, the fine for businesses - small, medium or otherwise - will be up to £20m or 4% of turnover whichever is highest.

“The penalty will depend on the extent of the breach not the size of the business. I have no doubt that as the test cases roll out over next five to ten years we will see casualties.”

Mr McLaughlin will host a free workshop for businesses from both sides of the border in Derry next Tuesday (May 22).

“The workshop is for business owners who are unsure how GDPR applies to them. The topics covered will include a compliance checklist, how the fines work and a brief digest of the 99 articles within the regulation. Attendees will also receive a free action pack to help with their compliance.”

Limited places are available at the workshop, which will take place in The Innovation Centre, Catalyst Inc (former Fort George site) from1.30pm to 4.30pm on Tuesday, May 22.

To register log on to http://bit.ly/mclgdpr

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