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African enterprises cautious about AR

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With this year’s release of Pokémon Go, awareness of augmented reality (AR) applications soared among organisations and consumers. But despite its popularity and potential business benefits, AR adoption rates are slow among enterprises, according to a new study from global business technology and cybersecurity association ISACA.
Only 45% of IT professionals in Africa are convinced that the benefits of AR outweigh the risks, and consumers also have concerns about the possible risks of Internet of Things (IoT) devices enhanced with AR.
The spread of technology such as AR and IoT devices can add significant business value and personal convenience. Yet the business world is still in the early stages of AR adoption. Security concerns are among the top barriers to adoption of AR, closely following insufficient budget and lack of skills/knowledge. Only 6% have a program in place to monitor negative comments on virtual graffiti apps. Additionally:
• 32% of organisations have no plans to use AR applications within the next year.
• Only 12% of respondents have used AR outside of work.
• Only 21% are confident they have a way to detect pictures, posts and videos geotagged to their business location or advertisements.
ISACA’s annual IT Risk/Reward Barometer polls thousands of business technology professionals and consumers worldwide to uncover attitudes and behaviours about essential technologies and information, and the trade-offs organisations 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.
More than three in four consumers in each region surveyed are concerned that AR enhancements may make their devices more vulnerable to a privacy breach. In India, that number rises to more than 90%. And the majority of consumers in each region believe that their workplace is vulnerable to virtual graffiti attacks.
ISACA experts offer organisations the following recommendations to account for the risk and reward represented by augmented reality and IoT:
• Extend social media monitoring to AR platforms. Leverage and extend current social media policies and monitoring to augmented reality platforms.
• Look at how AR can improve your business. Training and diagnostics are two areas with strong potential.
• Review your governance framework. Incorporate use of AR as part of the business into organisational policies and procedures.
• Consider the privacy angle. Explore the privacy ramifications related to these new technologies.
“Enterprises need to work on being agile and applying sound measures around governance, security and risk management to fully realise 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,” says Christos Dimitriadis, chair of ISACA’s Board of Directors and group director of Information Security for INTRALOT.