Consumers Increasingly Numb to Data Breach Risks

  • Consumer trust in the organizations they do business with is at rock bottom, leading many to “give up” on security, according to new research from Imperva.

    The data security vendor polled over 6700 consumers across the US, Singapore, UK and Australia to compile its latest report, No Silver Linings.

    It found that just 37% trust financial services firms to keep their data safe, dropping to a third (33%) for healthcare, 29% for government organizations and just 5% for retail organizations. Over a third (35%) said they don’t trust any industries to protect their data.

    The problem is exacerbated by the sheer volume of data that consumers share today. Half of those polled said they couldn’t keep track of the security posture of each organization they interact with, which is desensitizing many to cyber-risk.

    A fifth of those polled by Imperva said they now don’t care how much data they share online, and over a quarter (26%) claimed that it’s “inevitable” information will get into the wrong hands, so they don’t worry about it.

    Yet the stakes couldn’t be higher: 79% of those who discussed sensitive matters online admitted they could face serious consequences if this information were leaked. Nearly half (47%) said it would ruin their relationships with friends or family, and two-fifths (39%) claimed it would impact their mental health, with 28% admitting it could expose them to blackmail.

    Among the secrets respondents admitted sharing on cloud apps were information about their sexual fantasies or fetishes (16%), offensive comments (14%), details about substance abuse (12%) and info related to their cheating on a partner (10%).

    Just 9% said they trust cloud messaging services, despite 40% using these platforms to share secrets.

    Young adults in the 18-24 category were more open to sharing their data online and less worried about the financial impact of data theft, but more concerned than older respondents about their online reputation.

    A fifth (21%) claimed to be concerned about a deepfake video of them circulating online.