As the calendar year is about to shift to 2019, we are reflecting on industry themes that ran through 2018. If businesses and consumers learned nothing else this year, it has been that even the most seemingly trusted and recognizable brands can be subject to a data breach.

We’ve seen organizations large and small across many verticals all affected by a breach in some way. For the businesses, it has meant a lot of time and money spent on recovering the loss of customer trust and loyalty. Several of these companies that are household names are working their way past the damage to their brand. In order to rebuild their customer base and continue the climb upward to the tops of their industries, organizations are finding that they’re having to not just meet but exceed existing compliance standards.

It’s a race to the top as companies that have been breached are competing with the updates being made by companies that don’t want to end up in the same place. As consumers are taking education around PCI compliance and data security into their own hands, they’re showing loyalty to who can provide them with the most peace of mind. A recent consumer survey that we conducted showed that over a fifth of consumers said they would permanently stop using a business in the event of a data breach, and over 60% would refrain from engaging for at least a few months. Businesses are realizing that the cost to retain their customers is much lower than earning them back.

In a recent article published by Business Insider, we see some of the highest profile breaches of the year. Some of the most common brands that were affected by payment or identity breaches include Marriott (Starwood hotels), Saks and Lord & Taylor, T-Mobile, Orbitz, and British Airways. The breadth of organizations affected in 2018 means that no industry and no sized company is exempt from the possibility of a data breach. One conclusion, and an obvious solution, is that if you don’t store the data there is nothing accessible when an attempted breach occurs.

Leverage PCI Pal’s solutions to help descope your contact center and ensure that customer card data doesn’t touch your environment and be secure and compliant in 2019.