Identity theft and data breaches at financial services are top concerns for respondents
MUNICH, GERMANY – November 29, 2016 – Thales, a leader in critical information systems, cybersecurity and data protection, today announced the results of its survey into attitudes towards organisations that have experienced data breaches. The survey of German adults showed that 91 percent of respondents would reduce or stop business with a company that was breached more than once, and only 8 percent of respondents would continue to use products or services as usual.
If you found out an organisation whose products or services you use had multiple data breaches, which of the following best describes how you would react?
- 8% – I would continue to use their products or services as usual
- 23% – I would limit my usage of their products or services
- 37% – I would only use their products or services if I had no alternatives
- 31% – I would stop using their products or services completely
“When it comes to handling and processing personal data, organisations need to be fully aware of the potential consequences should a breach occur – but in doing so, they often focus on financial repercussions alone,” said Sol Cates, vice president of technology strategy at Thales. “Unfortunately, the reputational damage following a data breach cannot be underestimated or ignored, particularly as this study shows that 68 percent Germans either immediately stop using an organisation’s products or services altogether, or use them only if they have no other choice, for a company that was breached more than once.”
A similar survey of UK adults revealed a definite trend in the worries of modern consumers, as 84% of Brits would also reconsider brands affected by data breaches. However, an interesting difference occurred when asked about the top concern after a data breach, with the theft of money from bank accounts topping the UK study. In comparison, the German results showed that identity theft was a primary concern, closely followed by the loss of money from bank accounts:
If your personal information were stolen in a data breach of an organisation you do business with, which of the following would you be most concerned about?
- 40% – My identity being stolen
- 36% – Money being stolen from my bank account
- 19% – My account login information being stolen
- 5% – Receiving more spam emails
“It is unsurprising that so many Germans are concerned about identity theft, as such an invasion of privacy can impact a victim’s life in a number of ways beyond simple financial loss – there are also significant and lasting emotional effects,” continued Cates. “When comparing the UK and German results, it’s clear that consumer concerns after a data breach are virtually the same in both countries and point to money and identity theft as very tangible fears. In this atmosphere of concern and risk, effective security controls specifically placed around data to prevent and minimise damage from data breaches become an absolute requirement.”
The Thales Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,025 nationally representative German adults over the age of 18, between October 21 and October 26, 2016, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the German adult population 18 and older.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
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