The failure to protect customer data is creating sales problems for businesses.
According to a survey by security firm RSA some 90% of respondents said they were concerned about their personal data being lost, manipulated or stolen.
Monetary theft (74%), identity theft (70%) and having embarrassing or sensitive information made public (45%) were the biggest data security concerns. More than a third (36%) also fear being blackmailed with stolen private images or messages.
Some 84% of UK respondents and 81% of Italians listed security information as a concern, both higher than the global average, while German respondents expressed the most concern about genetic data, US respondent were the most concerned about location data.
As a result, 78% said they try to limit the amount of personal information they share and 49% have falsified information online in an attempt to protect themselves,
More importantly from a business point of view, 62% of consumers said they would blame the company involved above anyone else, even the hacker had exposed their personal data.
With 78% saying a company’s reputation relating to its handling of customer data made an impact on their buying decisions.
In fact, an average of 69% said they have or would boycott a company that showed a lack of regard for protecting customer data, with 82% of UK respondents saying they do so.
Some 60% of all respondents said if they hear that a company has been selling or misusing data without consent they will avoid handing data over to them, and 58% said if they know a company has been mishandling data they are less likely to buy services from them.
RSA said “With more than half (54%) of respondents less likely to buy from a company they know has been mishandling data, and 62% inclined to blame the company above anyone else if data is lost, it’s clear consumers are ready to vote with their feet against organisations that fall short of their expectations.”
“The financial and reputational damage of a data breach in 2018 could be devastating.”
The research further underlines the business benefit of ensuring customers’ data and privacy is protected. More than half (53%) of respondents said they were more likely to shop with a company that could prove it takes data protection seriously.
Consumers clearly understand the value of their personal data and, while there may rightly be occasions for caution, they are willing to part with it under the right circumstances.
After the compliance deadline for the European Union’s (EU’s) GDPR on 25 May 2018, RSA Security predicts that organisational privacy and data protection failings will become even more transparent because businesses will be forced to disclose any breach of the regulation.
Under this microscope, the security firm recommends that organisations must think of the wider business impact of privacy and data protection, while also understanding how to work within the GDPR to their advantage.
The research report points out that the GDPR will affect all companies that handle EU citizens’ data, including US cloud providers and businesses in post-Brexit Britain.
So if you want to save yourself stress, money and a damaged reputation from a data incident with affordable, live systems protection please ring us now on 01242 521967 or email [email protected] or complete the form on our contact page NOW