Report: Aussies put onus on governments to protect data

Thursday, 13 August, 2020

Report: Aussies put onus on governments to protect data

A report released by F5 has found that 43% of Asia–Pacific consumers expect businesses to protect their data, while another 32% believe it’s the responsibility of the government. More than 90% of consumers also revealed they would choose convenience and frictionless or seamless application user experiences over security. These findings reveal that businesses and governments are responsible for a delicate balancing act between security and convenience.

Industry expert Ankit Saurabh, Assistant Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Technology at PSB Academy, noted that COVID-19 has changed many aspects of consumers’ digital habits, with many people adapting to working from home and online banking, entertainment, shopping and food delivery applications. “During this critical time, businesses need to work even harder towards improving their security postures to protect customer and organisational data,” said Saurabh.

To remain competitive under these circumstances, businesses must deliver unique, high-performing and secure digital experiences, while adhering to complex compliance and security requirements and ensuring a convenient and user-friendly experience. To help achieve this goal, businesses should turn to the consumer. F5’s report shows that 27% of respondents are not aware of breaches to government sites or high-use applications, making it vital to view customers as allies, working towards the common goal for a secure digital experience.

If provided with the right experience, users can increase vigilance when sharing their data or demand more transparency on how their data will be used. Saurabh believes that businesses must train and equip their workforce with the necessary skills, and involve the consumers in this security-convenience journey, to stop cyber threats.

Jason Baden, Regional Vice President, Australia and New Zealand at F5, said that COVID-19 has prompted businesses to ramp up their digital transformation efforts to address the increased consumer demand for applications used to work, connect and entertain. F5’s report revealed that 40% of Australians prioritise their security, while 60% chose convenience.

“To truly integrate both elements, businesses should proactively involve consumers across the development of the applications, and not only at the end. To contend with the increase in both application consumption and security vulnerabilities, collaboration is absolutely key,” said Baden.

Baden noted that bringing customers along on the journey would also help them feel invested in their own protection, while allowing the industry to thrive. While consumers have chosen to cede responsibility for their own digital safety to brands and the government, it is critical that these organisations continue to educate and partner with users about the consequences of their choices to trade data or privacy to gain more seamless experiences.

With this partnership, organisations can further utilise next-level technology solutions to implement robust security postures while delivering the frictionless experiences that consumers expect.

The report revealed that most Asia–Pacific consumers assign security responsibilities to businesses and government, with only 25% believing that it is the users’ responsibilities to protect their own data. Similarly in Australia, 39% of consumers feel responsibility should lie with businesses, 35% with the government and 26% with themselves.

The report also found that 69% of Asia–Pacific users are choosing to give up their privacy to gain better experiences. Respondents from China (82%), India (79%) and Indonesia (79%) are the most willing to share their data, with respondents from Japan (43%), Australia (50%) and Singapore (58%) being the least likely to trade data for more seamless experiences.

Many users are also unaware of breaches, with 27% of respondents in Asia–Pacific indicating that they were not aware of the breaches despite hacks that affected government bodies or high-use applications. Only 4% of respondents stopped using an application as a result of a breach; however, their trust in an organisation’s abilities to protect their data is falling, with social media companies witnessing the steepest drop in trust by 19 percentage points.

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