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Survey: The importance of data privacy to financial organisations declined by half since the pandemic began

August 2020 by Netwrix

Due to the current pandemic, and the ensuing remote work, many organisations have now had to change their IT priorities. To understand this shift and revise previous predictions, Netwrix recently conducted another online survey, polling 937 IT professionals from around the world, and released the 2020 Netwrix IT Trends Report: Reshaped Reality.

The report revealed that data privacy is a less burning need for financial organisations amidst the pandemic. In fact, only 31% of companies in this sector now see privacy as a top priority, down from 63% in the earlier survey. The report also found a slight decrease in interest in tasks associated with operational efficiency, such as integration of existing solutions and automation of IT routines. Meanwhile, data security and cybersecurity awareness among employees rose in priority, joining network security in the top 3 tasks in the list. These findings underline that the financial sector is shifting its focus to attend to the severe security risks associated with remote connections and the uptick in fraudulent activity targeting banks. Regulatory compliance is also gaining more attention compared to the end of 2019. Apparently, financial organisations are eager to ensure all changes in their operations caused by the lockdown meet compliance requirements, in order to avoid penalties.

While data privacy and operational efficiency are currently taking a back seat, we can expect a renewed emphasis on it later, when businesses have settled into the new normal.

The key findings for the financial sector include the following:
• Network security, which was not listed as an option in the 2019 survey, rocketed to the top of the new priority list, with 92% of financial organisations naming it as a key task.
• Data security remained a top priority, increasing by 5 percentage points to 85%.
• The priority of regulatory compliance grew from 36% in 2019 to 50% now.
• Interest in data privacy dropped by half, from 63% pre-pandemic to 31% now.
• Plans for integration of existing solutions dropped from 43% pre-pandemic to 27% now.

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