70 Percent of Consumers Would Consider Leaving a Retailer Hit by Ransomware


A recent Carbon Black survey [PDF] of 5,000 U.S. consumers found that 70 percent would consider leaving a retailer, 72 percent would consider leaving a financial institution, and 68 percent would consider leaving their healthcare provider, if they were hit by ransomware.

And while 70 percent of consumers trust their financial institutions and healthcare providers to keep their data safe, only 52 percent have the same attitude towards retailers. "This may be as a result of the high-profile data breaches experienced at major retailers in recent years," the report notes.

When asked what they consider their most important personal information to be, 42 percent said it's their financial data, and 41 percent said it's their personal/family pictures and videos.

Just 5 percent said their medical records are their most valuable personal data.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said the WannaCry outbreak was their first exposure to how ransomware works. "While it's never a 'good' thing when 150 countries are simultaneously affected by a cyber attack, the increased awareness will only serve to incite positive action," the report states.

If their personal computer and data were taken hostage by ransomware, 52 percent of respondents said they would pay a ransom. Among those who would pay, 29 percent said they would pay between $100 and $500, and 12 percent said they would pay $500 or more.

The Importance of Backup

Awareness of WannaCry has certainly made a difference -- an Acronis survey of consumers in the U.S., U.K. Australia, Germany, France and Japan conducted in early March found that more than 62 percent of respondents had never heard of ransomware.

Still, over 67 percent of respondents placed great importance on their personal information, documents, pictures, videos and music, and 5.8 percent said they would be willing to pay more than $500 to recover lost data.

And while more than 34 percent of respondents said they or their family members have experienced data loss, over 26 percent admitted they don't perform any type of data backup.

"Backup still remains the most effective vaccine against data loss," Acronis CMO John Zanni said in a statement. "Creating a backup before disaster strikes is much more efficient and cost effective than looking for a cure when your data is lost."

Security and Convenience

A separate Accenture survey of 3,469 U.S. adults found that 79 percent are concrned about the privacy and security of their personal digital data.

Thirty percent of respondents have been a victim of cybercrime -- and 65 percent lack confidence in the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cybercrime.

Strikingly, 66 percent of respondents said they would be willing to sacrifice convenience for increased data security.

Sixty percent would be willing to answer additional login questions, and 47 percent would support the use of biometric technologies to verify identity.

When asked to identify leading security threats, respondents listed identity theft (68 percent), unauthorized access to financial accounts (64 percent), and credit card information theft (55 percent).

"This survey confirms that 'cyber insecurity' is pervasive, with citizens feeling concerned and vulnerable," Accenture North American security lead Lalit Ahluwalia said in a statement.