Quarter of Brits Would Switch Providers Following a Breach

More than two-thirds of consumers would stop using a bank or retailer’s web site if the firm suffered a data breach, according to new research from NTT Com Security, which drives home the importance of effective cybersecurity as we head into the busy festive season.

The global security firm interviewed over 500 UK consumers to explore the notion of trust online and found some pretty stark evidence for CISOs everywhere.

Some 68% of respondents claimed they’d stop using a site altogether—24% would move to a competitor and 44% would stop until the problem was fixed.

Around a quarter said they’d keep on using it regardless.

Theft of credit card information was pegged as the biggest threat to online privacy (84%), followed by identity theft (80%), viruses (70%), scam emails (60%), and governments and firms tracking user activity (35%).

Fears over the safety of personal information (66%) and fake websites (69%) were cited as the main reasons that would stop consumers using a particular site. Worries over online payments (32%) were also noted.

NTT Com Security senior director, Stuart Reed, argued that firms must start by getting the basics right when it comes to security—like patching known vulnerabilities.

“Too many organizations are still ignoring these fundamentals; therefore, ongoing patching and maintenance of systems is an absolute must. Additionally, a robust incident response plan is essential,” he told Infosecurity.

“Should a breach occur, the organization must respond quickly to both mitigate the issue and confidently communicate with their customers. In essence firms require a blended and well defined approach to people, process and technology for overall security and ongoing risk management.”

Malicious activity can have different levels of impact, from lost business to a compromised user experience, he added.

“With a quarter of those surveyed stating they would change supplier following a security incident, businesses must not ignore the importance of securing critical data in gaining and maintaining customer trust,” Reed concluded.

Photo © angellodeco

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?