With data breaches on the rise and becoming more high profile, we decided to survey 2,000 consumers across the US to see what they felt when it comes to data security. Here’s what we uncovered:
Our research showed that retail and travel were viewed as the least secure industries. This didn’t come as a massive surprise given recent data breaches of British Airways, Delta Airlines, Macys and Under Armour, which all made global news. What was surprising was that 97% of those surveyed have concerns when it comes to sharing personal data both on and offline, and over 40% expressed concern at reading out credit card information over the phone. This clearly indicates a step change in the mentality of the US consumer; they are taking notice of the headlines. So, how is this influencing their behaviour?
Over a fifth of consumers said they would permanently stop using a business in the event of a data breach, and over 60% would for a few months. In addition to a potential decline in sales, if the effected organisation is publicly listed, the share price could also suffer. For example, in the immediate aftermath of the IAG data breach, shares fell 4% or £500m in monetary value. Not only this, the GDPR is also now in effect, and any US businesses who hold, process and transmit data of EU citizens are subject to these regulations. The cost of a breach has never been higher, both in financial and consumer loyalty terms. What can businesses do to minimise the risk?
Some companies have spent fortunes trying to keep hackers and cyber criminals out of their systems, but could there be a better way? Rather than investing time and money in protecting data from would-be hackers, simply make sure there’s nothing there to steal, effectively removing your environment from scope, ‘de-scoping ‘The less customer data stored, the less risk there is of that data being stolen. An example of this is the contact centre, which is a hotbed of multiple forms of PII, including credit card details. Solutions such as Agent Assist ensure no credit card information enters the contact centre environment. Our research serves as stake warning for Consumer-facing brands especially. Adopting stronger security practices is not enough, but incorporating them into marketing and communications strategies is advised if they want to keep customers loyal and spending with them.
For full details of our survey results download our ‘This is America’ eBook today