Cisco 2023 Data Privacy Benchmark Study

25/01/2023 | Cisco

Cisco has published its 2023 edition of its Data Privacy Benchmark Study. Now in its sixth year, the report is based on a double-blind survey of over 4700 security professionals from 3100 organisations in 26 countries. The key findings (infographic) in this year's report indicate 98% of organisations report privacy metrics to the board. The report addresses several areas. Investing in privacy is deemed a business imperative to 95% of respondents, while 94% said their customers only buy from them if their data is properly protected. The average spend was $2.7 Million in 2022, 125% in 3 years. In return, estimated privacy benefits increased to $3.4 Million, with significant gains reported across all organisation sizes. The average equates benefits were 1.8 times privacy spending.  

Furthermore, the report identified an increase in the number of organisations realising everyone plays an important role in protecting personal data and that privacy skills are being integrated into everyday organisational roles and responsibilities. It is to the extent that 33% of security professionals responding to the survey consider privacy a top 3 area of responsibility, while 98% of organisations are reporting privacy metrics to the board. In terms of legislation, 79% of corporate respondents acknowledged that privacy legislation has a positive impact. In comparison, only 6% indicated claim they have a negative effect. 

Ethics and trust continue to be important driving factors, with 96% of organisations stating an ethical obligation to treat data properly. However, the report identified a disconnect between what organisations consider important to earning and building consumer trust compared with what consumers believe. For example, transparency was cited by 39% of respondents, above not selling personal data or complying with legislation. Consumers, on the other hand, identified compliance as a "given", with transparency as a key differentiator. A similar disconnect can be seen in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), with 96% of organisations claiming they have ethical safeguards in place. In contrast, the majority of consumers don't. 

Cisco recommends organisations continue investing in privacy, focusing on engineering, IT and security professionals along with employees who work with personal data. In addition, be more transparent about how consumer data is used, particularly with AI and automated decision-making. 

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