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Data privacy could pay off in a big way for businesses

(Image credit: Image Credit: StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay)

It pays to invest in data privacy, a new report by Cisco has claimed. 

The company's 2020 Data Privacy Benchmark Study argues that most companies that invested in data privacy experienced “very positive” returns. On average, these organisations saw their investment returned 2.7 times, while almost half (more than 40 per cent, it estimates) saw at least twice that of their spend.

More than 70 per cent of the report’s respondents said they now get “significant business benefits” from their privacy efforts beyond compliance (compared to last year’s 40 per cent). These benefits include more agility, competitive advantage and investor attractiveness.

Businesses that score higher in the accountability front witness lower data breach costs, shorter delays in sales and higher financial returns, the report states.

And finally, more than four in five (82 per cent) of organisations see privacy certifications (ISO 27701, EU/Swiss-US Privacy Shield and such) as an important buying factor.

“With this Study, we now have empirical evidence of privacy investments paying off for companies—particularly with improved customer relationships, revenue impact, and real bottom-line results,” commented Cisco Vice President & Chief Privacy Officer Harvey Jang.

Cisco’s report also argues that going forward, businesses that are looking to invest into privacy further should improve transparency about processing activities, obtain external privacy certifications, go beyond the legal bare minimum and build strong organisational governance and accountability.