Data security, sovereignty and storage key concerns
New iseek Communications research reveals consumer attitudes towards online personal information
Sydney, 18 September 2012 – The rise of big data and a spate of recent IT security incidents has placed data issues firmly on the radar for Australian consumers, according to research released today by data communications provider iseek Communications.
A survey that polled more than 1,000 respondents from across the nation has revealed that a majority of Australians are concerned about how organisations will handle their personal data, and that less than one in four trust companies to handle this data responsibly.
Key findings include:
- 64 per cent of Australians are concerned with how organisations handle their data.
- 42 per cent believe Australian customer data should be kept in Australia.
- 25 per cent of Australians consider the ability of an organisation to keep their data secure before they buy a product or service.
- Only 25 per cent trust companies to handle their data responsibly.
A great majority of those surveyed by iseek (79 per cent) agree that companies should be liable for the security of any customer data they hold. Nearly two-thirds of customers are concerned about the safety and security of their data, and one in four take this into consideration when choosing which companies to buy from.
iseek Communications Managing Director Jason Gomersall said: “For perhaps the first time, Australian consumers are acutely aware of where and how organisations are storing their customer data. This is a wake up call for Australian businesses. Now is the time to ensure that your IT systems, from your security software systems to the nuts and bolts of your network, are as robust and secure as possible.”
The new Australian Privacy Principals proposed in the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill state that organisations must take reasonable steps to protect the personal information they hold form misuse, interference, loss and unauthorised access. This also applies to data that is stored overseas. Companies looking to benefit from next generation enterprise software, such as cloud based applications and infrastructure-as-a-service will now have to consider both customer sentiment and legal implications.
Gomersall said: “With the Privacy Amendment Bill due to be law by the end of the year, legal experts and ICT industry stakeholders are predicting regulatory ramifications for businesses when it comes to how they manage their data. The rapid innovation in enterprise-level technology has brought a host of new tools that help organisations of every size to collect, analyse and utilise their customer data. However, it has also placed a burden on these organisations to take every step to protect this information, including where and how it is stored.
“The days of being able to safely house your IT servers in a back room in your main office are numbered, and the cloud’s multi-location storage model may soon not comply with Australian law for certain types of data. As a result, we are seeing increasing demand from SMEs and mid-tier clients looking for secure enterprise-class colocation facilities. We have recently implemented the international security standard ISO27001 at our data centres, as a direct result of client demand. We expect this trend towards using best-in-class Australian-based storage for sensitive information, to continue as the awareness and understanding of data storage issues rise.”
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Ashford Pritchard at Launch Group, e: firstname.lastname@example.org
t: 02 9492 1000 / m: 0411 020 680
Notes to Editors
The research was conducted for iseek Communications by pureprofile, an independent research firm. 1009 respondents over the age of 18 from across Australia were surveyed via an online questionnaire that took place in July 2012. Respondents were asked a number of questions regarding data/virtual information, security and their views on how businesses should handle customer information.
About iseek Communications
Originally founded in 1998, iseek Communications is an Australian owned data communications services provider. Headquartered in Brisbane and with enterprise class facilities in Queensland and New South Wales, iseek specialises in resilient data networks, mission-critical Internet services and managed colocation facilities. iseek’s network extends throughout Australia with a point of presence in every major capital city. For more information go to www.iseek.com.au.