UK Consumers Prefer Security to Convenience

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UK consumers prioritize security over convenience far more than IT and business executives, according to a new study from CA.

The firm commissioned analyst Frost & Sullivan to poll 990 consumers, 336 security professionals and 324 business executives across 10 countries, including nearly 600 respondents in Europe.

It revealed that 83% of UK consumers prefer security over convenience when authenticating during transactions, while the figure is much lower for cybersecurity professionals (60%) and business executives (59%).

Organizations often cite concerns about user friction as a reason not to tighten access controls and payment security with two-factor authentication — although many will be forced to put such measures in place by the new European banking rules known as PSD2.

The report also revealed a disconnect between customer trust in organizations to protect their personal data and the attitudes of business executives.

The Digital Trust Index for UK consumers stood at 56 points out of 100 — among the lowest in the world and much less than the global average of 61.

However, 88% of UK executives believe they are doing an “excellent” or “very good” job of protecting customer data. This is despite the fact that 56% admitted their organization has been involved in a breach of consumer data.

Jarad Carleton, industry principal, cybersecurity at Frost & Sullivan, argued that the information age is at a crossroads as more firms are being publicly held to account for failing to protect customer data.

“What the survey found is that there is certainly a price to pay — whether you’re a consumer or you run a business that handles consumer data — when it comes to maintaining data privacy,” he added. “Respect for consumer privacy must become an ethical pillar for any business that collects user data.”

The study was conducted in March and April, before the GDPR came into force across the EU, so it will be interesting to see if the report tells a different story next year.

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