F5’s latest report Curve of Convenience 2020 Report: The Privacy-Convenience Paradox uncovers that 43% of Asia Pacific consumers expect businesses to protect their data, while another 32% believe it’s the responsibility of the government. Meanwhile, more than nine in 10 (96%) consumers say they would choose convenience and frictionless or seamless application user experiences over security. These findings reveal a delicate balancing act between security and convenience that businesses and governments are being held responsible for.
Today’s challenging environment, especially in the face of COVID-19, and corresponding changes in digital habits has left many systems – and users – exposed, pressuring businesses and governments to fortify their security frameworks and further tighten regulations and compliance policies.
According to industry expert, Ankit Saurabh, Assistant Lecturer, School of Engineering and Technology at PSB Academy, “With COVID-19 changing various aspects of our routine, most of us have been adapting to the new normal of working-from-home, and online banking, entertainment, shopping and food delivery applications have become our primary means of accessing goods and services today. During this critical time, businesses need to work even harder towards improving their security postures to protect customer and organizational data.”
To remain competitive under these circumstances, businesses must consistently deliver unique, high-performing, and secure digital experiences, all while adhering to complex compliance and security requirements as well as ensuring a convenient, frictionless, and user-friendly experience. To help achieve this goal, businesses should turn to a largely untapped resource: the customer.
The Curve of Convenience 2020 Report shows that 27% of respondents are not even aware of breaches to government sites or high-use applications, making it more important than ever to view customers as allies, working towards the common goal for a delightful, yet secure, digital experience. Users, if armed with the right information, can increase vigilance when sharing their data, or even demand for more transparency on how their data will be used. “It is imperative for businesses to not only train and equip their workforce with the necessary skills, but to also involve the consumers in this security-convenience journey to stop cyber threats in their tracks,” said Saurabh.
“As the pandemic redefines our lives, and businesses step up their digital transformation efforts, consumers are demanding more from the applications that they use to work, play, and connect,” said Adam Judd, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, China and Japan, at F5. “To truly integrate convenience and security, businesses should proactively involve consumers across the development of the applications, not only at the end. This is especially the case in an age where both application consumption and security vulnerabilities are multiplying by the day. Partnering with consumers means that the industry can thrive, and businesses, together with their digital partners, can create better solutions that deliver seamless yet secure experiences, any time, all the time. Ultimately, showing users what’s at stake will help them feel that they should be invested in their own protection.”
While consumers have chosen to cede responsibility for their own digital safety to brands and the government, it is critical that these organizations 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 in place, organizations across the board can further utilize next-level technology solutions to implement robust security postures while also delivering the frictionless experiences that consumers have come to expect.
- Most Asia Pacific consumers assign security responsibilities to businesses and governments. 43% of respondents believe that the responsibility lies with businesses. In comparison, 32% believe that the onus lies with governments to protect their data – only 25% believe it is the users’ responsibility to protect their own data.
- 69% of Asia Pacific users, on average, 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.
- Over a quarter of users are unaware of breaches. 27% of respondents indicated that they were not even aware of the breaches despite hacks that affected government bodies or high-use applications.
- Today’s users frequently choose frictionless experiences over security, but they still expect the organizations to safeguard their data. Only 4% of respondents stopped using an application as a result of a breach, however, their trust in an organization’s abilities to protect their data is waning across the board – with social media companies witnessing the steepest drop in trust by 19-percentage points.
A follow up to the 2018 survey, this year’s study was conducted online between 25 March to 13 April 2020, with over 4,100 respondents from eight markets: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan. The study took place during the COVID-19 crisis. While this period is an anomaly, the accelerated use of the internet and applications reveal attitudes and behaviours that we believe will sustain post-pandemic.
Related article: Privacy vs safety – the COVID-19 impact on a debate of our time