January 27, 2023

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Thales’ 2022 Thales Consumer Digital Trust Index revealed that consumer confidence in online organizations’ ability to protect their data does not reflect reality. One in three consumers worldwide has already been the victim of a data breach from a company that holds their personal data.

The report sheds light on the latest global data breach trends and the serious impact they have had on consumer confidence across industries, including the likelihood of consumers continuing to do business with an organization after the incident.

Do consumers trust too much?

Nowadays, organizations no longer wonder if there will be a data breach, but when. Despite organizations being aware of the current cybersecurity landscape, the findings highlight that this awareness does not necessarily transfer to consumers. While 33% of consumers globally have suffered a data breach, 82% of consumers continue to have some degree of confidence that online digital service providers will protect their personal data.

However, 82% of data breach victims saw a negative impact on their lives.

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Location can erode consumer confidence. Violations are experienced at different speeds around the world. Yet consumers in countries with lower infringement rates were not necessarily more confident than those in countries with higher rates. The US has one of the highest rates of consumer data breaches (48%). Still, consumer confidence is higher in the US (80%) than in regions with fewer infringements, such as Germany, Australia and the UK.

Consumer confidence in the security of their data also varied by industry. The financial sector and healthcare generated the most confidence (although still only 42% and 37% respectively), while the media/entertainment and government received the lowest confidence (12% and 14% respectively).

Data breaches may not reduce consumer confidence, but they do affect how consumers perceive their role in data protection. Victims are more likely to take extra precautions to protect personal data.

Breaches also influence what consumers expect from organizations: 54% believe that following a data breach, companies should be forced to implement mandatory data protection controls such as encryption and two-factor authentication. More than a fifth of consumers stopped using a company that suffered a data breach.

Methodology

More than 21,000 adult consumers across 11 countries and five continents were surveyed in Thales’ 2022 Thales Consumer Digital Trust Index. The report was produced by Opinium and in collaboration with the University of Warwick.

Read the full Thales report.

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