In the UK, three million Brits have changed service providers as a direct result of data breaches, according to new research a by Privitar.
Concerns over how personal data is stored, used and ultimately protected have led to growing discomfort among consumers, with findings suggesting that perceptions about how well organizations safe-guard their data is a significant consideration when customers are choosing a service. Despite this, more than half (52%) of the 2018 adults surveyed admitted that they struggle to find out how their data is stored and used by companies.
With the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) due to be implemented across the industry in the coming months it appears companies are faced with the challenge of acting on data privacy and protection to win customer trust, thus avoiding customer churn. After all, 83% of respondents said they would look to switch to another service if they felt it could manage their data better.
Jason du Preez, CEO of Privitar, said:
“High-profile breaches such as those at TalkTalk and Ashley Madison mean that the issues of privacy and data protection have entered mainstream consumer consciousness. People are taking a more active interest in how their data is used day-to-day. Organizations have two years to comply with GDPR, but those that are proactive can gain competitive advantage by winning customer trust. Organizations should look to adopt leading technology solutions to add privacy protections, particularly as part of big data analytics infrastructure and clearly communicate with their customers as to how they are protecting and using their data.”
Paul Fletcher, cybersecurity evangelist, Alert Logic shares a similar view. He told Infosecurity:
“These findings indicate that customers are becoming more security conscious and the expectation on providers to protect the privacy of their customers is increasing. Building security and data privacy solutions into the beginning of new projects have been a long-time recommended best practice. Hopefully, this new law will lead to more mature security practices for new projects from beginning to end.”
With regards to keeping, or in many cases regaining customer trust, Fletcher argued that companies must communicate their mitigation strategies if they suffer a breach.
“In general, organizations should develop a strategic security road map and make it part of their marketing campaigns in the future.” he added.