Dealing With Risks In The Hyper-Connected World

by CXOtoday News Desk    Nov 14, 2014

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We are living in a hyper-connected world where devices such as smartwatches, fitness tools and connected cars have already made inroads, giving rise to massive data breaches. However, consumers still have conflicted attitudes about the benefits of connected devices and likewise on the security aspects of it, finds a new ISACA study.

While the vast majority of Indian consumers (88%) have read or heard about major retailer data breaches in the past year, but fewer than half (45%) say retailer data breaches have increased their concerns about their personal data privacy during the same period. Nearly half (46%) of the consumers characterize the way they manage data privacy on connected devices they own as take-charge rather than reactive (39%) or passive (15%).

The study also shows that despite knowing about retailer data breaches and claiming they are taking charge of their privacy, fewer than half (47%) have changed an online password or PIN code, one-third started using cash more often when shopping, rather than credit cards, and 29% shopped less frequently at one or more of the retailers that experienced a data breach.

Wearables at Work

The study shows that few IT departments or workplaces in general areready for the invasion of wearables. A third (31%) of Indian members say their organizations have plans in place to leverage the Internet of Things, but the majority is not ready for wearable tech. Close to half (43%) say their BYOD policy does not address wearable tech and another 31% do not even have a BYOD policy.

The potential risk caused by this gap between knowledge and action is amplified by the rapid spread of wearables and other connected devices in everyday life. By next year 44% of Indian consumers wish to get a smart TV and 41% hope to get a smart watch. Among the top concerns Indian consumers have about the Internet of Things—which is defined as devices that connect with each other or to the Internet—are someone hacking into the device and doing something malicious (25%), not knowing how the information collected by the devices will be used (20%), and companies or organizations being able to track an individual’s actions or whereabouts (16%).

While three fourth of the consumers are very concerned about the decreasing level of personal privacy, it is clear from the study that wearables are making their way into the workplace and that most believe that the benefits of the IoT outweighs the risk for individuals. Nearly 88% of employed Indians would consider using one or more connected wearable devices in their current workplace, according to the consumer survey.  In fact, half (50%) of employed Indians would consider wearing smart watches in their current workplace.

Gearing up for the next

In the area of online shopping, global IT association ISACA recommends that consumers protect their personal information by creating a strong password unique to each account, protect their devices with current security software, and verify that online transactions are secure by looking for a padlock icon displayed in the browser.

The study recommends that companies should take an ‘embrace and educate’ approach to these devices by creating clear policies and educating employees on appropriate use that can result in increased productivity—a benefit to the enterprise.”

According to ISACA International Vice President Vittal Raj, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC, CFE, CIA, CISSP, FCA, “Indian consumers say they are protecting their personal devices, yet their behavior says otherwise. One of the biggest takeaways from this year’s study is the significant gap between people’s concerns about protecting their data privacy and security versus the actions they take.”

ISACA’s International President Robert Stroud, CGEIT, CRISC, “Businesses need to address this gap by aggressively educating both customers and employees about how they can help reduce the risk or minimize the impact of data breaches or hacks.” 

For a full survey report, visit www.isaca.org/risk-reward-barometer.