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Survey: 91% Of People Trust Business To Keep Data Safe Despite Rise In Breaches

Varonis research reveals people take care to protect data but forget to get the basics right
NEW YORK, Apr. 23, 2013 – Research conducted by Varonis, the leading provider of comprehensive data governance software, has found that the vast majority of people expect businesses to protect their data - despite the high number of security breaches reported. The study found that while most respondents have good security practices, they still engage in high-risk behaviors that could enable hackers to breach their data.

The research[i] revealed that an overwhelming 91% of respondents assume businesses protect their personal data and online identities despite reported data breaches for 93% of large organizations and 87% of small businesses in 2013[ii]. Overall, the study shows that data security is highly valued: 97% are more willing to do business with a company that protects data and more than half (54%) would pay a premium if they feel a company is protecting their data.

The respondents exhibited several online security habits that would score fairly high on any security report card. The study found that 71% look at the fine print of end-user license agreements and terms of service. Mobile security is also high on their agenda, with more than three out of four (77%) password-protecting their phone, and almost half (47%) even using two-factor authentication for their personal email and online services.

Unfortunately, Varonis also found that there are some troubling bad habits. While respondents are dutifully password-protecting their phones, 61% always or frequently use the same password across multiple websites or applications - putting personal information across their accounts in danger. Two thirds of respondents (67%) admit to or suspect having sent unencrypted personal information to a business in an email.

David Gibson, Vice President at Varonis explained, "It is encouraging that people are seeking out companies that are better at securing their data - however, the vast number of breaches occurring on an almost daily basis indicates that businesses, just like individuals, are still struggling to get the basics right in securing their data."

Individuals need to focus on eliminating bad "digital" habits and take more control of their security. Businesses have their part to play by making sure IT departments implement basic security best practices.

For individual consumers: