During the pandemic, individuals and employers have spent a record amount of time online. This has resulted in fresh concerns over how users’ personal data is used and shared and how it can better be protected going forward.
According to a report by technology giant Cisco, some organizations have doubled their spending on online privacy during the global lockdowns. In fact, there’s evidence that it could transform the way governments and businesses deal with online security.
In Cisco’s 2021 Data Privacy Benchmark Report, one of the key findings was that an overwhelming majority of companies relied heavily on data security specialists last year.
The report found that 93% of businesses involved in the survey required guidance from privacy teams. And, this meant their total budgets doubled to $2.4 million in 2020.
Overall, it was found that 34% of businesses believe that data privacy is their number one priority at the moment and is part of their core responsibilities.
A staggering 90% also said that they believe being clear about data protection is essential and that failing to do this will stop their customers from purchasing from them.
In addition to this, reporting and assessing online safety has become a huge priority for most organizations. The study shows that 93% of those surveyed are now reporting security metrics to their boards, and the majority now prioritize privacy when choosing products and services.
Another important finding was that having better laws, greater transparency on advertising and data protection and holding organizations accountable has a positive effect on outcomes. 79% of companies agreed with this, saying that it would improve results.
Cisco noted, “These findings provide strong evidence that the commitment to privacy has been strengthened during the pandemic. Organizations that get privacy right improve trust with their customers, operational efficiency, and both top-line and bottom-line results.”