Survey: company data losses and leaks impact consumer confidence and reputation

The Check Point & YouGov survey of over 2100 British consumers highlighted how consumers’ trust of a company and its brand was affected by leakage or theft of personal, confidential data.  It also showed how important it is to consumers that companies secure and protect their personal data, such as credit card details, addresses and other sensitive records.
The survey found that 91% of the sample would actively prefer to buy from a company that had never had a data breach, in preference to one that had suffered a breach.  39% of respondents went further, saying they would not buy again from a company that had lost data, if they could buy the same goods or services elsewhere.

75% of the sample said they would not trust a company that they knew had suffered a data breach or loss, and 79% said they would warn friends or family not to buy from a company that experienced a data breach.  This highlights the wider impact of breaches on a company’s reputation, and how loss of consumer confidence spreads far beyond those directly affected by a data breach.
Overall, 96% of respondents agreed that it was important for companies to securely protect consumers’ personal data.

Check Point recommends that companies consider these steps to help cut the risks of data breaches:
1.       Encrypt all sensitive data, especially customer data.  This cuts the risks of data being accessed or used if it is lost or stolen by whatever means.
2.       Don’t allow employees to connect devices such as mp3 players, USB memory devices or digital cameras to company computers or networks.  They can siphon huge amounts of data from companies, but solutions are readily available to control their use.
3.       Companies should monitor and control the websites and software used by all employees.  Instant messaging and social networking applications can be a route to exposing sensitive information.

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