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ISACA Finds Organizations Are Cautious About Augmented Reality, Despite Business Benefits

Rolling Meadows, IL, USA (14 Nov 2016) — With this year’s release of Pokémon Go, awareness of augmented reality (AR) applications soared among organizations and consumers. 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 21 percent of the nearly 6,600 business and technology professionals surveyed believe the benefits of AR outweigh the risks; the overwhelming majority are unsure.


Security concerns top the list of barriers to AR adoption, followed by ROI worries. Findings also show:


  • Sixty-three percent of global respondents say their employers don’t have a policy to address the use of AR apps in the workplace.

  • Only 16 percent of respondents have used AR outside of work.

  • Only 25 percent are confident they have a way to detect pictures, posts and videos geotagged to their business location or advertisements.


“We expect to see these numbers change in the very near future as businesses begin to view AR as a valuable technology that can deliver positive business outcomes, such as improving training, education, marketing and customer experience,” said Rob Clyde, board director of ISACA and executive advisor at BullGuard Software.


However, even those organizations that aren’t actively using AR need to be monitoring it, says Clyde. Virtual graffiti apps using AR technology aggregate negative comments from social platforms and other sources, and overlay them on a business. Despite these risks, only six percent of organizations have a program in place to monitor them.


ISACA’s annual IT Risk/Reward Barometer polls thousands of IT and cybersecurity 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.


On a whole, consumers are more positive about the benefits of AR than IT professionals are, with 60 percent or more in each region agreeing that a range of suggested AR applications would improve their life. Despite the optimism, however, 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 percent. And the majority of consumers in each region believe that their workplace is vulnerable to virtual graffiti attacks.


Still, the potential upside of AR is evident. A recent estimate from Goldman Sachs predicts that the hardware and software market for augmented reality and virtual reality will grow to US$80 billion by 2025.*


ISACA offers the following recommendations to help organizations realize the benefits and overcome potential barriers of AR applications:


  • 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.


“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 view global survey results, including related graphics and expert insights, visit


About the IT Risk/Reward Barometer

The annual IT Risk/Reward Barometer is a global indicator of trust in information. Conducted by ISACA, a global association of more than 140,000 IT security, assurance, risk and governance professionals, the Barometer polls thousands of business and IT professionals and consumers worldwide to uncover attitudes and behaviors about essential technologies and information, and the trade-offs people make to balance risk and reward. The study is based on online polling of 6,591 ISACA members among 140 countries from 19-29 September 2016. Additional online surveys were fielded by M/A/R/C Research among 1,230 consumers in the US, 1,000 consumers in the UK, 1,000 consumers in Australia, 1,001 consumers in India and 1,000 consumers in Singapore. The US survey ran 6-8 August 2016, and the UK, Australia, India and Singapore surveys ran 12-23 August 2016. At a 95 percent confidence level, the margin of error for each individual country sample is +/- 3.1 percent.



ISACA ( helps professionals around the globe realize the positive potential of technology in an evolving digital world. By offering industry-leading knowledge, standards, credentialing and education, ISACA enables professionals to apply technology in ways that instill confidence, address threats, drive innovation and create positive momentum for their organizations. Established in 1969, ISACA is a global association with more than 140,000 members and certification holders in 187 countries. ISACA is the creator of the COBIT framework, which helps organizations effectively govern and manage their information and technology. Through its Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX), ISACA helps organizations develop skilled cyber workforces and enables individuals to grow and advance their cyber careers.



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* “Virtual & Augmented Reality : Understanding the Race for the Next Computing Platform,” Jan. 13, 2016, Goldman Sachs.