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92% organisations think they need to reassure customer privacy: Cisco

About 92% of respondents in the Cisco 2023 Data Privacy Benchmark Study believe their organisation needs to do more to reassure customers about their data privacy.

Despite a difficult economic environment, organisations continue to invest in privacy, with spending increasing from $1.2 million just three years ago to $2.7 million this year. The average spending on privacy in India was $2.4 million in 2021 and $3.1 million in 2022.

The study found that 95% of respondents in India have stated that customers will not buy from them if their data is not adequately protected. About 96% of respondents in India state that privacy is important for business.

Cisco also pointed out that the average Return on Investment (ROI) on privacy in India has been $1.6 million. About 85% of respondents in India recognise the significant business benefits of investing in privacy.

“While organisations have always needed security and privacy to earn and build customer trust, today’s business environment has made them mission-critical,” said Samir Kumar Mishra, Director of Security Sales, Cisco India and SAARC, “With data becoming the centre of how companies develop strategies, execute plans, make decisions, and manage the business, data protection, and privacy can no longer be optional but has to be built in from the ground up.

The good news, he added, is that nearly all organisations now recognise the importance of privacy to their business, as the study shows that despite a challenging economic environment, organisations continue to invest in privacy, with spending in India significantly up almost 30% in the last year.

“By embedding data protection and privacy into their culture and ongoing operations, organisations can ensure that they are well-positioned to meet the challenges of an increasingly data-driven digital world,” he said.

About 92% of the corporate respondents agreed that the privacy laws had a positive impact while only 1% pointed it has a negative impact. Some 95% of respondents in India believe that their data would be inherently safer if it could be stored within their country or region, and 93% believe that global providers can better protect their data compared to local providers.

AI and privacy

The survey also found that organisations’ privacy priorities differ from those expressed by consumers. This disconnect between data privacy measures by companies and what consumers expect from organisations is significant when it is related to how organisations apply and use Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“When it comes to earning and building trust, compliance is not enough,” said Harvey Jang, Cisco Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer. Transparency was the top priority for consumers (39%) to trust companies, whilst organizations surveyed felt compliance was the number one priority for building customer trust (30%).

The study notes 67% of organisations have adopted AI ethics principles into their operations while 54% of organisations in India are ensuring that a human is involved in the decision-making process and 47% have ensured that auditing for bias is incorporated.

About 68% of organisations in India inducted a practice of explaining how the AI application works and 70% have applied an AI ethics management program to identify and reduce unintended bias has been done by most organizations. About 27% have given their customers the opportunity to opt out of AI use.

The study was based on data from 4,700 security professionals from 26 geographies.

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