Survey shows significant business impacts for organizations caught with poor data security practices

Published: Wednesday, 17 June 2020 07:47

A survey for PCI Pal shows that a significant proportion of consumers will act with their feet and take their custom elsewhere, should their personal data be compromised by a business due to poor security practices amid the current pandemic.

The research, commissioned by the global provider of secure payment solutions, has found that 33 percent of UK consumers will avoid a business ‘for up to several years’ if personal data has been compromised due to a business’ poor data security practices during COVID-19.

A further 30 percent say they ‘would never return’, representing a significant potential risk to organizations that have had to adapt working practices. Only 1 in 10 (11 percent) said ‘it wouldn’t impact’ their loyalty to a business.

While a majority of consumers (69 percemt) felt the same level of concern regarding how businesses are handling their personal data now compared to before the pandemic, over a quarter (28 percent) said they felt more concerned.

This worry was further elevated when asked specifically about sharing payment information with businesses operating remotely. Here, three quarters of respondents expressed some level of concern, with 25 percent of these stating that they are ‘very concerned’ about how their payment data is being handled during the pandemic.

When comparing the same research in other geographies, Spanish consumers are the most likely to say that since the Coronavirus pandemic, they are now more concerned about companies handling their personal data securely (45 percent) followed by Australia (42 percent), versus 34 percent of respondents in Italy, 30 percent in Germany, and 29 percent in France.

In the event of personal data being compromised as a result of poor data security practices during COVID-19, the survey found that German consumers are the most likely to say they would never return to that business (40 percent) compared to 21 percent in France.

Concludes Geoff Forsyth: “Our research suggests that a large proportion of consumers will shop elsewhere if businesses fail to deliver on data security. As organisations continue to adapt to the changing business and threat landscape, it is crucial to prioritise data security. This includes adjusting business models to meet the highest standards of security and compliance across all customer engagement channels.”

Research methodology

An online survey was conducted by Atomik Research among 3,501 adults aged 18-65 in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia and Canada. Respondents also all had an annual household income of USD$25,000 or more. The research fieldwork took place on 26th – 27th May, 2020. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code. The survey findings highlighted consumer concerns and business impact around data security in the age of COVID-19.

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