You’ve suffered a data breach! Now what?


Thought Leadership

You’ve suffered a data breach! Now what?

Neil Farquharson

As breaches have recently become a weekly occurrence — executives, IT departments and legal teams are wracking their brains to pinpoint the problem and identify solutions. But is anyone asking what is on the minds of the customers affected? We are. And that is precisely what we explored in a recent survey that sampled more than 500 Americans. Through the results, we concluded two main points –

  1. People are not as educated as they might think in regard to the severity and types of breaches that have been splashed across headlines.
  2. People want to be in the know regarding a breach as quickly as possible. In short – ignorance is NOT bliss when dealing with a data breach.

Regarding point No. 1 — 55 percent of those surveyed believe retail and insurance breaches are equally as bad, with 13 percent believing a retail breach is more concerning than an insurance breach. If one thing is clear, it’s that people need further enlightenment when it comes to this topic. To begin with, retail and healthcare breaches both show cause for concern. However, both are not created equal –healthcare breaches should be more unsettling. Why? Both types of breaches hold vastly different information. For a retail store – your credit or debit card information can be leaked – which, let’s be clear about this – isn’t fun to go through. On the other hand, a retail breach is not as damaging as a healthcare or insurance breach where one’s Social Security Number and health records are compromised. Because at the end of the day, there is no undoing theft of your Social Security Number and identity. Now examining point No. 2, 92 percent of those surveyed feel companies should notify their entire customer base of a breach, regardless of breach size. This is where companies need to be transparent when it comes to breaches and keep those affected top of mind. In addition, the survey results show that 84 percent would like to be notified of a breach right away in order to regain trust. We see where respondents are coming from — the sooner people are notified of a breach the sooner they can take action to protect themselves like implementing a credit freeze and monitoring for fraudulent activity. So it is up to businesses to be mindful of findings like these and do what they can to take action according to their customers’ view. After all, they are the ones affected and looking to them is the best way of retaining their business. Interested in more of our survey’s findings? Just shoot us a comment, and we’ll be happy to discuss them further. Or feel free to check out our announcement here.