Like many people, my office tends to be airports and wherever in the world I have traveled. The advent of connected devices, wearable tech and the Internet of Things enables me to be more productive and have more contact with colleagues and friends. This is a good thing.
But at the same time, these amazing advancements are also causing disruption in our lives and workplaces. We don’t always know who has use of or control over our sensitive personal and corporate information. And since new developments are always making their way into the workplace, it is critical that we understand attitudes and actions of consumers as well as the professionals and executives on the front lines of enterprise technology.
ISACA helps build this understanding with its annual IT Risk/Reward Barometer, and the 2014 survey results show some interesting trends with significant implications. For example, 68 percent of US consumers plan to use wearable tech or connected devices at work. But despite the surge in wearable tech at work, only 11 percent of enterprises have a policy that addresses it.
Enterprises need to be aggressively proactive here, and start educating staff on the risks and the opportunities of wearable tech. Devices such as smart watches and glasses collect and transmit information that provides great value. But if this information gets into the wrong hands or is mishandled, it can be used to damage a company’s reputation, financial position, compliance activities and even its existence.
According to the latest IT Risk/Reward Barometer, “increased security threats” and “data privacy issues” are two of the biggest challenges that ISACA members list regarding the Internet of Things.
But along with the inherent risk in the Internet of Things, enterprises are also reaping benefit, such as the 29 percent that have achieved greater accessibility to information and the 26 percent that have used it to improve services. Also 22 percent have gained efficiencies and improved employee productivity. With new technology there is always the need to balance risks and rewards—and there are plenty of both in the case of the Internet of Things.
To keep tabs on evolving perceptions and trends, ISACA has fielded the IT Risk/Reward Barometer for five years. This survey is unique in that it has two components—a consumer survey and an ISACA-member survey. Globally, more than 4,200 consumers and more than 1,600 ISACA members responded this year, giving us an excellent pool of responses.
Wearable tech, connected devices and other cool advancements in the Internet of Things are making their way into every aspect of our lives. The gates are open and the tide is flowing, and we encourage you to take an “embrace and educate” approach. Having an informed and alert customer/employee/stakeholder base is a key aspect of making connected devices work for you and your enterprise.
I invite you to review the full report, infographic and news announcement for the 2014 IT Risk/Reward Barometer. I need to take off now. My smart refrigerator just told my smart watch that I need to pick up some bread on the way home from the airport.
Robert E Stroud, CGEIT, CRISC
2014-2015 ISACA International President