Thales News Release

Thales Survey: 91% Of German Consumers Would Reconsider Brands Affected By Data Breaches

November 29, 2016

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 ( 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.

About Thales eSecurity

Thales + Vormetric have combined to form the leading global data protection and digital trust management company. Together, we enable companies to compete confidently and quickly by securing data at-rest, in-motion, and in-use to effectively deliver secure and compliant solutions with the highest levels of management, speed and trust across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. By deploying our leading solutions and services, targeted attacks are thwarted and sensitive data risk exposure is reduced with the least business disruption and at the lowest life cycle cost. Thales and Vormetric are part of Thales Group.

About Thales

Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defence and Security markets. With 62,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €14 billion in 2015. With over 22,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment, systems and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Its exceptional international footprint allows it to work closely with its customers all over the world.

Positioned as a value-added systems integrator, equipment supplier and service provider, Thales is one of Europe’s leading players in the security market. The Group’s security teams work with government agencies, local authorities and enterprise customers to develop and deploy integrated, resilient solutions to protect citizens, sensitive data and critical infrastructure.

Thales offers world-class cryptographic capabilities and is a global leader in cybersecurity solutions for defence, government, critical infrastructure providers, telecom companies, industry and the financial services sector. With a value proposition addressing the entire data security chain, Thales offers a comprehensive range of services and solutions ranging from security consulting, data protection, digital trust management and design, development, integration, certification and security maintenance of cybersecured systems, to cyberthreat management, intrusion detection and security supervision through cybersecurity Operation Centres in France, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and soon in Hong Kong.


Dorothée Bonneil
Thales Media Relations – Security
+33 (0)1 57 77 90 89
Liz Harris
Thales Media Relations
+44 (0)1223 723612