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Gemalto survey: Data breaches may cause customer exodus

04 Dec 2017

Organisations that experience a data breach may lose more than half of their customers after the incident, according to a recent Customer Loyalty 2017 Report from Gemalto.

The company conducted a global study of 10,500 consumers from countries including Australia.

53% of Australians say they would probably move to another bank if it suffered an online data breach; while 58% would stop shopping with a retailer affected by a breach.

Globally, only 27% of consumers believe that businesses take customer data security very seriously - however the consumers themselves are partly to blame.

62% believe businesses are responsible for customer data security, but only 41% take advantage of additional security measures they could use, such as two-factor authentication.

“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,” comments Gemalto’s CTO of Identity and Data Protection, Jason Hart.

81% of Australians would like organisations to have greater security online; however 60% are confident in areas such as online and mobile banking. This is higher than the global average of 53%.

According to Gemalto, the global study found that 56% of consumers use the same password for multiple online accounts – a tell that consumers are not playing their part as much as they need to.

“It’s astonishing that consumers are now putting their own data at risk, by failing to use these measures, despite growing concerns around their security,” Hart comments.

“It’s resulting in an alarming amount of breaches – 80% – being caused by weak or previously stolen credentials. Something has to change soon on both the business and consumer sides or this is only going to get worse.”

Businesses are being forced to take additional steps to protect their consumers, enforce them and educate them on the benefits of using the new safety measures.

“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,” Hart notes.

62% of Australian consumers are worries that their personal online information will be stolen in the future, slightly lower than the global average of 67%.

93% say they would either take or consider taking legal action against the business in the event of a breach.

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