Digital Transformation

Consumers ‘disappointed’ with handling of data breaches

Survey finds 72 per cent not satisfied with a company’s communication following a data breach

A recent survey conducted by Experian Data Breach Resolution and the Ponemon Institute has found that 72 per cent of people who had received a notification regarding a data breach were not satisfied with the way in which the situation was handled.

According to the results, the majority of respondents felt that the communication they received from an organisation was not sufficient and that they should have been sent more information – an indication that businesses could do more to support consumers whose personal details are exposed following a data breach.

Michael Bruemmer, vice president at Experian Data Breach Resolution, said: "While it’s important for companies to do everything possible to safeguard consumer data, it’s just as important to communicate effectively in the event of a breach.

"Effective and appropriate communication to customers who have been impacted by a breach includes describing the type of data that was lost or taken, an estimate of probability that the data will be abused and the business recourse that the company will offer."

As companies who fail to install the necessary data protection measures leave their records exposed to cyber thieves, those which store sensitive information regarding people’s personal details run the risk of losing the trust of their customers in the event of such an incident.

And given that it appears many organisations are failing to properly address the concerns of consumers whose data may be obtained by online criminals, it appears that businesses need to go to further lengths in order to communicate with people in an effective manner.

Indeed, companies that do not respond to a breach in a way that satisfies customers face the threat of having their reputation damaged, and taking steps to safeguard against data theft is likely to be a more successful tool than trying to handle the fallout following any exposure of files.