COVID-19 highlights data sharing and security challenges

Investing in both security and privacy will prepare organisations and consumers for the “new normal”.

COVID-19 has increased consumer concern about data sharing during the pandemic and the security challenges organisations face supporting employees and customers in our remote-first world.

According to Cisco’s latest published global research studies revealed investing in both security and privacy will prepare organisations and consumers for the “new normal” that is here to stay.

The reports also highlight opportunities to become more resilient by committing to security that enables access to data and applications from anywhere, on any device.

Earlier this year, businesses across the globe transitioned to a remote work environment almost overnight at an unprecedented scale and speed. Security teams worked around the clock to empower and protect their newly distributed teams. Surveying 3,000 global IT decision makers, Cisco’s Future of Secure Remote Work Report found most organizations around the world were at best only somewhat prepared to support a remote workforce. But, it has accelerated the adoption of technologies that enable employees to work securely from anywhere and on any device – preparing businesses to be flexible for whatever comes next. The survey found that:

  • 85 per cent of organizations said that cybersecurity is extremely important or more important than before COVID-19
  • Secure access is the top cybersecurity challenge faced by the largest proportion of organizations (62 per cent) when supporting remote workers
  • One in two respondents said endpoints, including corporate laptops (56 per cent) and personal devices (54 per cent), are a challenge to protect in a remote environment
  • 66 per cent of respondents indicated that the COVID-19 situation will result in an increase in cybersecurity investments

According to Cisco, cybersecurity historically has been overly complex. With this new way of working here to stay and organizations looking to increase their investment in cybersecurity, there’s a unique opportunity to transform the way we approach security as an industry to better meet the needs of our customers and end-users.”

People are worried about the privacy of remote work tools and are skeptical whether companies are doing what is needed to keep their data safe. A survey of 2,600 adults globally found that despite the pandemic, consumers want little or no change to privacy requirements, and they want to see companies be more transparent regarding how they use their customers’ data. Organisations can build confidence and trust by embedding privacy into their products and communicating their practices clearly and simply to their customers. Cisco’s second annual Consumer Privacy Survey revealed that:

60 per cent of respondents are concerned about the privacy of remote collaboration tools

53 per cent want privacy laws maintained, with little or no exception for pandemic-related data

48 per cent feel they are unable to effectively protect their data today, and the main reason is that they can’t figure out what companies are doing with their data

56 per cent believe governments should play the primary role in protecting consumer data, and consumers around the world are highly supportive of the privacy laws enacted in their country

Cisco believes privacy is much more than just a compliance obligation. It is a fundamental human right and business imperative that is critical to building and maintaining customer trust. The core privacy and ethical principles of transparency, fairness, and accountability will guide us in this new, digital-first world.












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