The internet is becoming more expansive, and, at the same time, more complicated. That’s the theme of Bond Capital’s annual Internet Trends Report.

First presented onstage at the Vox/Recode Conference in early June, the report describes today’s massive digital economy, comparing it to a data firehose for consumers, businesses, and regulators with all the challenges in tow.

At the same time, the integrated and critical nature of the data economy makes the companies that store this information especially vulnerable to cyber attacks. On the subject, the report notes, “We are in a new era of cyber security where technology issues are increasingly intermixed with international diplomacy & defense.”

This duality is present throughout the 333-slide report with risks and rewards accompanying seemingly every metric.

For instance, after years of rapid technological adoption, rates are beginning to slow with consumers becoming more aware of their internet usage and taking steps to reduce it as privacy becomes an increasingly valuable commodity after years of unbridled participation in the digital economy.

In addition to detailing emerging trends about media consumption and digital platform participation, Bond Capital’s analysis highlights the importance of harnessing customer data to create a compelling user experience with built-in sales opposition. For instance, it found that the vast majority of consumers prefer brands that provide personalized offers. What’s more, 83% are willing to passively share data in exchange for a personalized experience.

This emphasis on data analytics places companies at odds with their customers and even shifting regulatory sentiments. Although the number of people concerned about privacy is plateauing, the regulatory landscape is just accelerating. Making matters more complicated, the global regulatory framework is far from unified, meaning that companies operating on a worldwide scale will have to be diligent about compliance.

With privacy playing a prominent role in the technology landscape, companies are being forced to balance these priorities without compromising on either.

As Frank Bien, CEO and President of Looker writes in the report, “Data is now fundamental to how people work & the most successful companies have intelligently integrated it into everyone’s daily workflow. Data is the new application.”

While companies have a critical mandate to protect this information, they are tasked with the complicated responsibility of both guarding data and intellectual property while protecting their employees’ privacy. Consequently, approximately 80% of organizations are turning to some form of monitoring software to secure this data.

It’s evident that today’s digital economy will continue to proliferate, becoming both more prominent and more complicated along the way. For companies navigating this landscape, they need to be prepared to effectively manage the deluge of data coming their way. This includes devising systems to make this information useful and developing protocols for ensuring that it is protected. With both regulatory standards and consumer sentiments demanding excellence on both fronts, organizations certainly need to evaluate their standing on each of these priorities.

This article was originally published on IT Security Central and reprinted with permission.