Two-thirds of consumers believe they will be a victim of a data breach

Sri Narayanan | Dec. 6, 2017
Only a quarter feel businesses take customer data security very seriously

data privacy

A majority of consumers would stop doing business with companies following a data breach, according to a Gemalto study of 10,500 adult consumers globally.

Retailers (61 percent), banks (59 percent) and social media sites (58 percent) are sectors that consumers would leave if they suffered a breach. In addition, seven in ten consumers (69 percent) feel businesses don't take the security of customer data very seriously.

The study also found that consumers are failing to adequately secure themselves, with over half using the same password for multiple online accounts. Even with robust security solutions in place (such as two-factor authentication) two fifths (41 percent) of consumers admit to not using the technology to secure social media accounts, leaving them vulnerable to data breaches.

The study suggests the majority of consumers (62 percent) believe the business holding their data are mostly responsible and would take or consider taking legal action against the compromised business. In response, businesses are taking additional steps to protect consumers by enforcing robust security measures and via education.

"Consumers are evidently happy to relinquish the responsibility of protecting their data to a business, but are expecting it to be kept secure without any effort on their part," says Jason Hart, CTO, Identity and Data Protection at Gemalto.

"In the face of upcoming data regulations such as GDPR, it's now up to businesses to ensure they are forcing security protocols on their customers to keep data secure. It's no longer enough to offer these solutions as an option. These protocols must be mandatory from the start - otherwise businesses will face not only financial consequences, but also potentially legal action from consumers."

The countries included in the study were the US, UK, France, Germany, India, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Benelux, UAE and South Africa. All of those surveyed actively use online/mobile banking, social media accounts or online retail accounts.