Consumer Pessimism About Cybersecurity Costs Companies Business

Consumer Pessimism About Cybersecurity Costs Companies Business

By Tracey E. Schelmetic

If you’ve had your personal data stolen by cybercriminals, you’re not alone. A recent study of more than 3,000 consumers found that 37 percent of people have had their personal information stolen by hackers. While the fallout – the need for credit monitoring and the necessity of cleaning up messes from exposed data – are bad enough, rampant cybercrime has an even more long-term negative effect: It damages customer confidence.

The study, commissioned by ISACA (formerly the Information Systems Audit and Control Association), found that customer’s expectations that they may be the victim of cybercrime are high, with only one in three believing it is unlikely to happen. Fully one-third of people say they have severed ties with a company known to have experienced a breach. Despite national and international data privacy regulations that mandate companies report breaches, 36 percent of consumers believe companies under-report breaches, even if required by law, and 23 percent are not confident a business can safely secure their personal identifiable information.

“The prevalence of cyberattacks worldwide understandably leaves an impact on consumer confidence, which in turn has a ripple effect,” said Shannon Donahue, ISACA senior vice president of publishing. “Organizations that prove to consumers that they are bolstering their cybersecurity programs and strengthening their security workforce to protect their customers will differentiate themselves and build digital trust in the process.”

For companies that wish to restore consumer confidence in their cybersecurity practices, experts recommend the hiring of certified cybersecurity professionals. Sixty-nine percent of ISACA study respondents indicated that companies should be independently graded on data security practices and the scores shared with the public so customers can make more informed choices about which companies they wish to do business with.

The challenge is, most companies don’t have the expertise in-house to keep pace with cyber criminals.  That’s why so many are turning to MSPs and MSSPs and relying on them to keep their data safe.

Edited by Erik Linask
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