64 Percent of Consumers Would Stop Doing Business With a Company That Suffered a Financial Data Breach

A recent survey [PDF] of 5,750 consumers in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, France, Germany and Japan has found that 64 percent of respondents said they’re unlikely to shop or do business again with a company that experienced a breach in which financial information was stolen, and 49 percent said the same of breaches in which personal information was stolen.

The survey, commissioned by Gemalto and conducted by Vanson Bourne in October and November 2015, also found that 75 percent of respondents feel that companies don’t take the protection and security of their data very seriously, and 69 percent feel the same way about their employers.

“The media coverage of massive data breaches has done little to instill consumers’ confidence in how well companies, big and small, are protecting their data,” Jason Hart, vice president and chief technology officer for data protection at Gemalto, said in a statement. “The fact that employees don’t even feel that their employers are taking the protection of their personal data security very seriously rings alarm bells. Either companies need to increase their security measures or, assuming that they already have these in place, they need to communicate this to their customers.”

Thirty-one percent of respondents have already been affected by a data breach, and 16 percent believe they’re likely to be a victim of a data breach within the next 12 months. Fifty-nine percent believe that threats to their personal information increase during the holiday season, and 18 percent believe they’re likely to be a victim of a data breach during the holiday season.

Among those who have been victims of a data breach, 23 percent either have taken or would consider taking legal action against the breached company, and 49 percent either would take or would consider taking legal action against any of the parties involved in exposing their personal information.

Still, consumers’ online behavior isn’t keeping up with their concerns. Fifty-four percent of respondents are using the same password for all or some of their online accounts, and only 25 percent of those with social media accounts are using two-factor authentication to protect those accounts.

A separate survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, commissioned by Vormetric and conducted by Wakefield Research in November 2015, found that fully 85 percent of respondents said they would stop shopping at a retailer that suffered a data breach.

Sixty-seven percent said they would stop shopping at a retailer if the breach resulted in money taken from their checking account, 62 percent said they would leave if the breach resulted in unauthorized charges on their credit card, 57 percent said they would leave if the breach resulted in leaked personal information, and 54 percent said they would stop shopping there if the breach resulted in damage to their credit score.

“The time has come for retailers — and indeed all organizations — to embrace a data-centric mindset and change their approach to how their data is protected,” Vormetric CSO Sol Cates said in a statement. “With attackers now using multi-phase approaches to breach organization’s perimeters and networks, a stronger focus on better securing company data where it is stored is required.”

“Encryption and access controls are now front-line defenses for defending data-at-rest,” Cates added. “With encryption becoming increasingly easier to implement, there is no excuse for not protecting your organization’s sensitive data, regardless of where it resides.”

Recent eSecurity Planet articles have provided 6 tips for stronger encryption and offered advice on improving database security.

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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