55 Percent of Consumers Would Respond to a Retailer Breach by Switching to Cash

According to the results of a recent survey of 1,000 adults in the U.S. and the U.K., 55 percent of respondents would switch to using only cash at a retailer if they learned that its systems had been hacked and credit card data stolen.

The survey, sponsored by Thales e-Security and conducted by Wakefield Research, also found that 20 percent of respondents would simply stop shopping at that retailer, while 25 percent said their purchasing behavior would be unaffected.

When asked where they plan to purchase holiday gifts, 66 percent of U.S. respondents said they’ll do so at a store’s physical location, followed by 64 percent on a laptop or desktop computer, and 33 percent on a mobile device, smartphone or tablet.

And when asked what payment methods they plan to use for holiday purchases, 59 percent of respondents said they plan to use debit cards, followed by 56 percent for cash, 54 percent for credit cards, 32 percent for gift cards, and 16 percent for mobile payments.

“These survey results offer a stark reminder that a serioues data breach could stop many consumers from shopping at a merchant’s store or at the very least move them back to cash payments,” Thales e-Security director of payment strategy Jose Diaz said in a statement.

Separately, according to a recent survey of 134 IT and security professionals at U.S. retailers, 30 percent of respondents said their permanent employees accessed and/or sent sensitive data they should not have accessed or sent, a significant increase from 7 percent in 2015.

The survey, sponsored by Bay Dynamics and conducted by Osterman Research, also found that 36 percent of respondents give temporary workers their own accounts with access to sensitive data, and 12 percent have little to no visibility into what those workers are doing on their network.

Just six percent of respondents said temporary workers have access to personally identifiable information (PII), and just 13 percent said their contractors can access PII.

“IT and security professionals in the retail industry are becoming increasingly focused on addressing cyber security and cyber risk issues,” Osterman Research principal analyst Michael Osterman said in a statement. “Most are patching their systems quickly, monitoring employee behavior more closely, and limiting access to sensitive information, but there is definitely still room for improvement.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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