Findings from more than 600 executives in the U.S. – including 382 security and privacy executives and 228 data and AI executives – reveal key insights on the impact of data-security investments on AI and advanced analytics initiatives. Comparison between the two executive audiences found that data and AI executives were more likely to cite the need to accelerate their ability to use secure data for AI (78 percent) compared to privacy and security executives (69 percent).
Recent Gartner research found that unlike some information-security segments, the pandemic accelerated growth for cloud security and data security in 2020, with cloud-security spending projected to increase 33 percent over 2019. These findings were further validated by Protegrity’s research, which indicated that more than nine in 10 businesses plan to increase their data-security investments in 2021. The top data-security investments planned for 2021 include cloud data security (67 percent), training for employees (54 percent), and data security for SaaS environments (50 percent).
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises have undergone a dramatic acceleration of digital transformation, cloud, and AI initiatives,” said Rick Farnell, president and CEO of Protegrity. “However, as data proliferates across the business, organizations must have tools and policies in place to properly identify and secure any sensitive information. According to our research, executives understand that effective data security can not only protect a brand’s reputation in the event of a data breach, but can also speed up their ability to innovate with secure data for mission-critical AI and analytics.”
Amid strong interest in data-security investments, some respondents cited potential implementation barriers. These include the excessive amount of time required to deploy new data-security technologies (47 percent), insufficient employee skills to implement new data-security technologies (39 percent), and budgetary constraints (39 percent). Privacy and security executives were more likely (42 percent) to cite insufficient skills as a barrier to data-security implementation than data and AI executives (35 percent).
Despite potential implementation challenges, many organizations anticipate significant benefits as a result of a greater investment in data-security technology and practices. Interestingly, the most widely agreed-upon benefit of data security was improved customer experience, as cited by 70 percent of respondents. Additional anticipated benefits include reduced financial risk due to a data breach (64 percent), reduced reputational business risk due to a data breach (61 percent), and a greater ability to utilize secure data for AI and advanced analytics initiatives (59 percent). Data and AI executives were more keenly aware (69 percent) of data security’s potential impact on AI and analytics timelines than their security and privacy counterparts (54 percent).
- In 2021, 92 percent of US businesses want to increase spending on data security
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