As every business becomes a digital business, the spread of technology such as augmented reality (AR) and Internet of Things (IoT) devices can add significant business value and personal convenience. Yet a new study from global business technology and cybersecurity association ISACA shows that consumers and IT professionals disagree on the risks and rewards. Indian consumers who are employed are more positive about the benefits of AR than IT professionals are, with 90 percent or more agreeing that a range of suggested AR applications would improve their life or make it easier for them to do their job. However, only 30 percent of IT professionals in India are convinced the benefits of AR outweigh the risks.
ISACA’s annual IT Risk/Reward Barometer polls thousands of business technology professionals and consumers worldwide to uncover attitudes and behaviors about essential technologies and information, and the trade-offs organizations and consumers must make in weighing both the benefits and potential threats. This year’s five-country consumer study – conducted in the US, UK, Australia, India and Singapore – focused on IoT devices and those enhanced with AR.
The India consumer segment of ISACA’s 2016 IT Risk/Reward Barometer found that:
• 85 percent of Indian consumers report owning at least one IoT device
• 94 percent claim they are knowledgeable in identifying IoT devices
• Eighty percent report being knowledgeable in identifying IoT devices that have been enhanced with AR.
According to Goldman Sachs, AR and virtual reality have the potential to become the next big computing platform. The firm’s conservative estimate is that the hardware and software market will grow to US $80 billion by 2025.* Awareness of AR grew rapidly with the launch of the Pokémon Go game in July 2016, which saw many businesses profit directly if their site was incorporated into the game and other businesses inspired to incorporate AR into marketing campaigns.
“With the proliferation of IoT-enabled devices and the drive to provide enhanced user experiences, IoT and AR have the power to become a source of unprecedented value and opportunity, as well as significant risk,” said Rob Clyde, an ISACA board director. “Individuals and enterprises should focus on rapidly getting up to speed on these technologies while learning how to manage risk so they do not compromise their company’s ability to innovate.”
The survey shows that consumers and IT professionals alike have concerns about the possible risks of IoT devices enhanced with AR. Ninety-one percent of consumers are concerned that these enhancements may make their devices more vulnerable to a privacy breach. Additionally, a majority (78 percent) of Indian consumers feel that their workplace is vulnerable to virtual graffiti attacks, which can deface buildings, landmarks and other surfaces with negative, unauthorized imagery. Only 11 percent of organizations in India have a program in place to monitor negative comments on virtual graffiti apps.
The parallel survey conducted by ISACA among IT and cybersecurity professionals in India shows that the business world is still in the early stages of AR adoption. Among the findings:
• 17 percent say their organization plans to use AR in the next year.
• 9 percent of respondents have used AR outside of work.
• The percentage of respondents who say the benefits of AR outweigh the risks (30 percent) is higher than those who believe the opposite (21 percent), but about half of respondents say they are unsure.
• Only one-fourth of the respondents say their organizations have a way to detect pictures, posts and videos geotagged to their business location or advertisements.
• Top barriers to adoption of AR are lack of skills/knowledge (20 percent), security concerns (20 percent) and insufficient budget (16 percent).
“Enterprises need to work on being agile and applying sound measures around governance, security and risk management to fully realize the benefits of these technology advances. Proactive monitoring for malicious activity like virtual graffiti and data breaches is critical for businesses to gain the full value of new technologies while mitigating risk,” said Christos Dimitriadis, Ph.D. CISA, CISM, CRISC, chair of ISACA’s Board of Directors and group director of Information Security for INTRALOT.
To help organizations overcome the barriers to adopting AR and monitor AR apps that could impact their business, ISACA offers the following recommendations:
• Extend social media monitoring to AR platforms. Leverage and extend current social media policies and monitoring to augmented reality platforms.
• Consider how AR can improve your business. Training, diagnostics and marketing are three areas with particularly strong potential.
• Review your governance framework and update your policies. Incorporate use of AR as part of the business into organizational policies and procedures—including BYOD (bring your own device) and privacy policies.
• Build security into every part of the process. Security is a crucial component of AR initiatives that helps ensure confidence in the data.
For full results of the IT Risk/Reward Barometer, including a survey report and infographics, visit www.isaca.org/risk-reward-barometer.