Tech & Innovation

90% of Irish consumers want more to be done to punish businesses that lose customer data

By Business & Finance
04 March 2014
David Keating, security sales manager, Data Solutions

David Keating, security sales manager, Data Solutions

Data Solutions today announced results of a survey of Irish consumers which found that 90% of respondents believe more needs to be done to punish businesses that lose sensitive customer information.

In addition, 20% of respondents would only continue to do business with an organisation if it was upfront from the time of a breach and informed its customers.

The research was commissioned by Data Solutions and was completed by the Marketing Development Programme at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in February 2014. A total of 300 Irish consumers were interviewed.

An overwhelming majority of those surveyed, 99%, felt it is important that the public be informed of any IT security breaches within an organisation. Almost nine out of ten respondents also agreed there should be a law that obliges organisations to publically detail these breaches.

Interestingly, 12% of respondents would not do any business with an organisation that has suffered an IT security breach. A further 57% said that, while they would continue to do business with an organisation that has suffered an IT security breach, they would limit the information they shared with it.

More than two thirds of respondents admitted to having concerns about sharing their personal data with organisations. 53% of those are concerned with how securely their data is stored and 33% are concerned that the information will be sold to other businesses. However, only 27% of all respondents have questioned a business about the security of their personal data before providing the information. The reasons given for this include being too shy to ask (11%) and not knowing the right person to ask (47%).

David Keating, security manager, Data Solutions commented on the survey findings: “Following recent high profile security breaches, we commissioned this survey to explore the general public’s attitudes towards sharing personal information. It was interesting to find that 49% of those surveyed were aware of the recent Loyaltybuild breach, when credit card details of over 500,000 people were potentially compromised.

“What has come through loud and clear from the results of the survey is transparency is vital in the wake of a security attack. As an IT security breach is now a reality for businesses of all sizes, reputation recovery will centre on having cohesive security and incident response plans in place.  This will not only include having the right tools and technologies in place to identify and quickly shut down a breach but should also outline the steps to be taken to communicate an attack to all of the relevant stakeholders.

“Communicating and collaborating on an IT security breach is a key component in the fight against cybercriminals. If businesses are willing to share their experiences and work together, they can prevent similar attacks from happening again. In addition, communicating a breach with customers can protect a businesses reputation and provide the peace of mind that they are doing everything in their power to protect customers’ data.”

The results of these findings will form some of the discussion at the Secure Computing Forum on March 13th 2014 in the Gibson Hotel, Dublin. High-profile international speakers which include Lieutenant Colonel William Hagestad II, US Marine Corps (RET) and Dr Ciarán Mc Mahon, research & development coordinator at the CyberPsychology Research Centre in the Institute of Leadership, will gather to discuss the security issues and challenges facing Irish businesses today.