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Risk

4/16/2008
10:55 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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Good News: After Breach, Consumers Vote With Their Feet

Survey results show that nearly one-third of consumers terminate their relationship with an organization following a security breach.

Survey results show that nearly one-third of consumers terminate their relationship with an organization following a security breach.The survey, dubbed the Consumer's Report Card on Data Breach Notification, conducted by The Ponemon Institute, questioned 1,795 adult-aged respondents located throughout the United States.

The study was paid for by ID Experts, an identity theft protection services firm, so consider the results with that in mind. However, it does seem to show that folks are getting fed up with all of the breaches, and aren't especially thrilled with the data breach notifications they receive.

What I found interesting (heartwarming, actually) is that 31% of those surveyed said they terminated their relationship with the organization that suffered the breach. I hope that's the start of a trend. Following a breach, consumers should not only cease shopping or using the services of the organization, they should let the organization know why. Also, according to the survey, 26% of respondents took no action after being notified and 57% said they lost trust and confidence in the organization.

Other key findings from the study include:

Fifty-five percent of respondents had been notified of two or more data breaches in the previous 24 months, including 8 percent with four or more notifications;

More than 55 percent of respondents state that the notification about the data breach occurred more than one month after the incident, and more than 50 percent of respondents rated the timeliness, clarity, and quality of the notification as either fair or poor;

Less than one-third of respondents said that the organization offered services to protect them from further harms; of those who opted into such services, 97 percent rated them good to excellent; and,

Two percent of respondents that had been notified of a data breach experienced identity theft as a result of the breach, while 64 percent were unsure if they were a victim of identity theft.

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