APAC consumers do not feel responsible for data security

Just one in four consumers believe they should protect their own data, underscoring the tightrope between security and convenience that organisations have been walking on

Some 43% of Asia-Pacific consumers expect businesses to protect their data, while another 32% believe it is the responsibility of the government, underscoring the balancing act between security and convenience that organisations have been grappling with.

Those were some of the key findings from a recent survey conducted by F5 Networks, which polled 4,100 respondents from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the survey report, just one in four believe it is their responsibility to protect their own data, while 27% of respondents were not even aware of data breaches despite cyber attacks that had affected government agencies or high-use applications.

In addition, only 4% of respondents stopped using an application as a result of a breach, even as their trust in an organisation’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.

Commenting on the survey findings, Ankit Saurabh, assistant lecturer at the school of engineering and technology at PSB Academy, said: “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 organisational data.”

F5 said for businesses to remain competitive under these circumstances, they 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 achieve this goal, it called for businesses to partner with customers in their application development efforts.

“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, F5’s senior vice-president for Asia-Pacific, China and Japan.

“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.”

In response to consumer attitudes that businesses and governments should be responsible for the security of their applications, F5 said organisations must continue to educate users about the consequences of their choices to trade data or privacy to gain more seamless experiences.

“With this partnership in place, organisations across the board can further utilise next-level technology solutions to implement robust security postures while also delivering the frictionless experiences that consumers have come to expect,” it added.

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