Data security provider Protegrity has announced findings from new research, the 2021 Data Security & AI Trends Study, about enterprise executives’ data-security priorities for 2021. The majority (71 percent) of respondents reported their organization’s data and AI timelines have accelerated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with one in four reporting their data initiatives have significantly accelerated. When asked their organization’s top data-security priorities for the next six-to-12 months, 72 percent of respondents cited the need to speed up their ability to use secure data for AI and advanced analytics initiatives.
Findings from more than 600 executives in the U.S. reveal key insights on the impact of data-security investments on AI and advanced analytics initiatives. The research found 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).
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).