Businesses are not meeting consumer expectations around protecting personal information, according to a study conducted by the Ponemon institute across the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia.
62 percent of consumers have been notified by a company or government agency that their personal information was lost or stolen as a result of one or more data breaches. Of these, 36 percent experienced two or more separate incidents, causing a third of them to sever their relationship with the organization experiencing the data breach.
Sixty-nine percent of consumers say a company’s privacy and security practices are very important to preserving their trust. Yet in 2016, reported data breaches increased by 40 percent, which indicates that today’s security is not secure or providing consumers with much confidence.
What may be most alarming for consumers to learn is that while eighty percent of them believe companies have an obligation to take reasonable steps to secure their personal information, only 65 percent of CMOs and 64 percent IT professionals agree.
A wake-up call for the C-suite
“This survey is a wake-up call for the C-suite because data breaches will cost them customers and affect the bottom line, but it doesn’t have to. According to Forrester, 80 percent of breaches involve privileged credentials misuse, which is a vulnerability that has a clear solution,” said Bill Mann, chief product officer at Centrify. “Companies can expediently stop breaches through a trifecta of Identity Services for applications, endpoints and infrastructure. Taking these steps not only goes a long way to ensure company security, but ultimately can help garner customer loyalty.”
When it comes to personal information security, the gap between consumer expectations and corporate reality is significant, and can have a detrimental effect as organizations work to establish deeper and more experiential connections with customers. This is especially true with the increased adoption of Internet of Things devices, such as fitness trackers, smart watches and connected cars.
Organizations need to recognize and respect consumers’ desire for better security and can do that by adopting a high security profile that will instill confidence both internally and externally.
According to Forrester, organizations that reach the highest levels on the security maturity scale are 50 percent less likely to have a breach. In addition, these organizations save 40 percent in security costs over their less mature counterparts, and spend $5 million less in breach costs. Forrester found the most mature groups employ more Identity Access Management (IAM) approaches as well as use integrated IAM technology platforms to reduce security risk, which may avoid millions in data breach costs over their less mature counterparts.