The recent increase in high-profile security breaches, including the ones impacting Canadian businesses (e.g. Natural Health Services and Freedom Mobile), has kept security top-of-mind for consumers in Canada and all over the world. With newly released PCI Pal research finding that over a third (37%) of Canadians reported being a victim of a hack or security breach, the growing concerns are well-founded.

To understand how consumers are reacting to the escalating threat of security breaches, we conducted a 2,000-person study. The survey revealed changing consumer sentiment around security, with the vast majority (85%) of Canadians now expressing concern when sharing personal data with businesses both on and offline, and 42% reporting feeling troubled when reading credit card information over the phone during a transaction.

With this new emphasis on security, it is more important than ever for Canadian businesses to ensure they are protecting customer data and are compliant with data privacy regulations. The consequences of not doing so could be disastrous. On top of facing financial penalties, our research found that a stunning 78% of consumers said they will stop spending with a business following a data breach, 58% for several months in the immediate aftermath of a security breach, and a fifth will never return to a business post-breach, representing a significant potential revenue loss.

Fortunately, there are steps businesses could take in the event of a breach to win back consumer trust: 33% of Canadians want a business to admit responsibility and invest in improving security practices, 26% want a third party to confirm the organisation’s system is safe, and 28% want the company to announce compliance with security protocols. .

But rather than repairing trust after a breach, businesses should take steps now to prepare themselves for the increasing likelihood of being hacked. For businesses operating contact centres, this means making sure there isn’t any information in their ecosystem to steal by descoping from the requirements of PCI DSS. Contact us today to learn more about how PCI Pal can help protect your company and safeguard customers’ data from security threats.