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Proper Data Privacy Influences Buyer Decisions, Cisco Research Finds

Man and woman sitting in front of screens in a dark office room.

Will customers buy from organizations that don’t properly protect private data, a new Cisco study asks. The answer: An emphatic “no.”

The evidence: Nine in 10 IT professionals now regard data privacy as mission critical and a business imperative, Cisco's 2022 Data Privacy Benchmark Survey of nearly 5,000 respondents in 27 geographies found. The same number of respondents said they would not buy from an organization that does not properly protect its data and 91 percent indicated that external privacy certifications are important in their buying process.

Spending on Privacy Generates ROI

The data also showed that enterprise investments to protect data have risen and organizations are seeing a high return on investments (ROI) from privacy spending.

In other words, data privacy isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s very good for business.

"With 94 percent of organizations saying they are reporting one or more privacy-related metrics to their board, and privacy investment rising with an average budget up 13 percent, there's no doubt that privacy continues to grow in importance for organizations, regardless of their size or location," said Harvey Jang, Cisco vice president and chief privacy officer. "We also see privacy growing to be part of the vital skills and core responsibilities for security professionals.

Here are more of the research findings:

  • More than 60 percent of respondents felt they were getting significant business value from privacy, spanning reduced sales delays, mitigating losses from data breaches, enabling innovation, achieving efficiency, building trust making their company more attractive to customers.
  • Respondents estimate their ROI to be 1.8 times spending on average, a slight dip from last year (1.9 times spending).
  • 83%: Corporate respondents who said privacy laws have had a positive impact. Three percent indicated the laws have had a negative impact.
  • 92%: Respondents who said data localization requirements have become an important issue for their organizations. Across all geographies, 88 percent said that localization requirements are adding significant cost to their operation.
  • 92%: Respondents who said that their organization has a responsibility to only use data in a responsible manner.
  • 87%: Respondents who believe their organizations already have processes in place to ensure automated decision-making maps to customer expectations.
  • 56%: Respondents concerned about the use of data in artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making.
  • 46%: Consumers who believe that they cannot adequately protect their data because they do not understand what information organizations are collecting and doing with their data.
D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.