Based on a double-blind survey of 2,800 security professionals, the report shows how customer demands for increased protection, the threat of data breaches and misuse by insiders and threat actors, have also spurred organisations to plough cash into privacy.“With this study, we now have empirical evidence of privacy investments paying off for companies – particularly with improved customer relationships, revenue impact and real bottom-line results,” said Cisco vice-president and chief privacy officer Harvey Jang.
Cisco noted that the return on investment (ROI) benefits appeared to be fairly similar regardless of organisational size. Although larger businesses are quantifiably spending more money and getting more benefits, the ratio of benefits to spending is persistent across large, mid-size and small businesses.
Choosing providers that support data residency helps companies satisfy their customers’ increasingly regional expectations of privacy — especially when paired with a robust, globally-focused privacy program.Working with service providers that support data residency helps ensure that information can be collected, processed, and stored in a way that meets different expectations.
Harvey Jang, Cisco
Besides growing RoI – over 40% saw benefits at least two times that of their spend – investment in data privacy also generates operational and competitive advantages, said Cisco. Over 70% of organisations – up from 40% in 2019 – now say they are now more agile, have a better competitive advantage over rivals, are more attractive to investors, and are better trusted by customers.
A higher degree of accountability was also found to translate to increased benefits, with those that had higher accountability scores – as per the Centre for Information Policy Leadership’s Accountability Wheel, a framework for managing and assessing organisational maturity – were spending less on rectifying breaches that did occur and experiencing fewer delays in their sales cycles. Reflecting tighter worldwide regulations, 82% of respondents to the study said they now saw privacy certifications – such as ISO 27701, the EU/Swiss-US Privacy Shield and APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules – as a buying factor. Respondents in India and Brazil seemed most likely to agree external certifications are now important in their buying decisions.
Cisco provided a short checklist of steps organisations can take to improve their data privacy posture. These include: improving transparency about processing activities, and being upfront and clear about what you are doing with user data, and why; obtaining external certifications, as above; going beyond the legal bare minimum; and building strong internal governance and accountability to demonstrate to stakeholders that your privacy programme is mature.
Read more about data privacy and protection
- Find out how a data privacy framework gives companies the tools they need to ensure their information is protected – from both internal and external threats.
- Modern cars contain advanced technologies and personal data susceptible to security breaches. To protect customer data, car manufacturers must implement built-in security measures beforehand.
- GDPR and CCPA have put data governance in the news recently. With this increase in legislation on data, now is a great time to review your company’s data governance policies.