A new study has revealed the scale of work businesses in Europe need to do to be ready for next year's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The GDPR, the European Union's initiative designed to give citizens and not companies more control over personal data, is set to come into force in May 2018, replacing the Data Protection Act.
Research from leading auditing firm RSM has shown, however, that a staggering 92% of businesses are unprepared for the regulation change that will directly impact their work.
Over a quarter of the 400 business leaders (28%) that were surveyed admitted that they had never heard of the GDPR, with 26% saying that their companies won't be ready come May.
"In less than 7 months, businesses across the continent will have to adhere to GDPR," said Jean Stephens, CEO at RSM.
"We have seen an increase in clients asking us about GDPR consulting services, however, it is clear from this research that many businesses do not fully comprehend the hurdles they will have to overcome ahead of the fast-approaching deadline.
"Business leaders need to understand that this is not a simple tick-box exercise. They will likely need to implement significant changes that could impact their organisation as a whole and so the sooner they begin to prepare, the better."