Most consumers will ditch a brand that’s suffered a data breach

A new survey reveals that an overwhelming majority of consumers would sever ties with a brand in the aftermath of a cybersecurity breach. People expect more, especially from larger businesses.

A study by Vercara, a provider of cloud-delivered security services, has shown that 75% of consumers are prepared to ditch brands if and when the latter face cybersecurity issues such as data breaches.

These findings underscore the crucial role that brand trust plays in the digital landscape. Moreover, it looks like it takes a lot of hard work to earn consumer trust, especially after a successful cyberattack.

66% of US consumers would not trust a company that’s fallen victim to a data breach with their data, and 44% of consumers attribute cyber incidents to a company’s lack of security measures, Vercara research shows.

Interestingly, 54% of respondents extend a degree of leniency toward smaller brands grappling with cyberattacks, in contrast to their higher expectations for larger businesses.

However, the results of the survey also demonstrate that consumers are often less aware of the role they themselves play in maintaining cyber hygiene. They also lack awareness of how cyberattacks start.

55% of respondents said they used their corporate devices for online shopping, inadvertently posing risks to business infrastructure, and 35% believe that it’s challenging to impersonate large e-commerce brands, even though it’s not really too difficult.

Of course, companies should first and foremost strive to maximize their cybersecurity measures, Colin Doherty, CEO at Vercara, said.

“In the current cyber landscape where most attacks start with some form of social engineering, it’s important for businesses to see their security policies through the eyes of their most vulnerable link – the employees,” said Doherty.

“It’s important to run regular awareness and training sessions not just for the IT and cyber departments, but for all employees, as even more sophisticated ransomware and DDoS attacks can be spotted sooner if everyone knows what to look out for.”

In 2023, businesses were hit with 800,000 cyberattacks, over 60,000 of which were DDoS attacks. According to Vercara, 4,000 businesses fell victim to ransomware.

Ransomware attacks actually reached never-before-seen levels in September 2023, with 514 victims exposed in leak sites and new threat actors emerging, a report from NCC Group revealed late last year.

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