Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

5/2/2018
10:15 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Breaches Drive Consumer Stress over Cybersecurity

As major data breaches make headlines, consumers are increasingly worried about cyberattacks, password management, and data security.

A few years ago, many people didn't talk about cybersecurity or even pay much attention to it. These days, it's a growing source of stress among consumers, who rely on several devices and businesses to protect their data and regularly read reports about major companies getting breached.

More than 80% of Americans, and 72% of Canadians, admit they've experienced stress due to news of data breaches, according to a new report on consumer levels of "cyber stress" conducted by Opinion Matters and sponsored by Kaspersky Labs. Researchers polled 2,515 Internet users over the age of 16 to gauge the effects of digital security on their stress levels.

It's the first time this study has been conducted; however, it follows a gradual and definitive shift in consumer awareness driven by more-frequent reports of cybercrime. The Identity Theft Resource Center says 1,579 data breaches were reported in 2017, marking a 45% increase from the previous year and the highest number since it started tracking this information.

People are thinking more critically about their data and what they can do to protect it. Three-quarters say protecting their devices from cybercrime has caused them stress.

"When cyberattacks and breaches started becoming a regular occurrence in the news, it seemed to be a wake-up call for many consumers to realize that a cybersecurity issue could personally impact them," says Brian Anderson, vice president at Kaspersky Lab North America.

The turning point, he notes, was the spike in attacks hitting companies people knew and frequented. When large breaches hit Target, Home Depot, and eBay in 2013 and 2014, it made the consequences of poor data security more tangible for consumers affected.

However, the most common sources of stress are not massive one-time breaches, says Anderson. It's the idea that people have to protect their information all the time because these events could happen at any moment. They understand the real-life effects of a data breach, such as identity theft and monetary loss, and have to protect more devices and accounts.

Respondents ages 25 to 34 were most likely to have had a security issue — virus, ransomware, malicious links, or emails — in the last five years. Nearly 60% of this age group reported one of these problems, compared with 46% of respondents overall. Nearly half of those ages 16 to 24 feel stress over password management, compared with one-quarter of participants older than 55.

"These [younger] age groups faced a comparable amount of cybersecurity issues, but because young people are often managing more passwords and more devices than older generations, cybersecurity is causing them a greater amount of stress," Anderson explains.

Consumers who have experienced cyberattacks are more likely to worry about them. Of those who reported an issue, one-third agreed they find it stressful to protect all of their devices.

There is a silver lining to the stress. As people become more aware of the need for security, they're adopting tools like password management software to keep track of their data. Anderson says consumers are becoming more aware of where they share their data, as well as the applications and services that may have more access than is necessary.

Respondents are least willing to share information with social networks (33%), mobile payment services (29%), banking apps (25%), and messaging apps (17%), but they're also hesitant to share with friends and family. Nearly half (49%) would trust a partner with a username and password; the same amount would share answers for security questions.

That said, greater stress doesn't necessarily mean people are taking more precautions. Fourteen percent of Americans and 6% of Canadians admit they have experienced four or more cybersecurity issues in the last five years. While they could blame bad luck, researchers say this level of frequency may also indicate failure to adopt security measures.

Related Content:

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-16632
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-15
A XSS Vulnerability in /uploads/dede/action_search.php in DedeCMS V5.7 SP2 allows an authenticated user to execute remote arbitrary code via the keyword parameter.
CVE-2021-32073
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-15
DedeCMS V5.7 SP2 contains a CSRF vulnerability that allows a remote attacker to send a malicious request to to the web manager allowing remote code execution.
CVE-2021-33033
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
The Linux kernel before 5.11.14 has a use-after-free in cipso_v4_genopt in net/ipv4/cipso_ipv4.c because the CIPSO and CALIPSO refcounting for the DOI definitions is mishandled, aka CID-ad5d07f4a9cd. This leads to writing an arbitrary value.
CVE-2021-33034
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
In the Linux kernel before 5.12.4, net/bluetooth/hci_event.c has a use-after-free when destroying an hci_chan, aka CID-5c4c8c954409. This leads to writing an arbitrary value.
CVE-2019-25044
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
The block subsystem in the Linux kernel before 5.2 has a use-after-free that can lead to arbitrary code execution in the kernel context and privilege escalation, aka CID-c3e2219216c9. This is related to blk_mq_free_rqs and blk_cleanup_queue.