Voice of the Customer

More than half of consumers would avoid a financial services provider that had recently experienced a data security incident, according to new research. A survey by Kaspersky Lab showed that 58 per cent of customers would not use banks and other organisations that were hit by cyber security issues a short time ago.

Respondents also showed they favour firms that invested in security measures. 59 per cent admitted they would select a financial services provider or transact with an online store solely on the basis of the additional security measures it offered.

Consumer awareness of cyber security issues is increasing, with 65 per cent worrying about the data security practices of companies they give their personal and financial information to – an increase of nine per cent compared to last year.

“Consumers entrust all sorts of valuable information to businesses – such as contact details, passwords and financial data – all of which are golden nuggets to a cyber criminal,” said Kirill Slavin, general manager for the UK and Ireland at Kaspersky Lab.

“Companies holding such data have the responsibility of keeping it safe and making sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. With our research revealing that 47 per cent of consumers would use online payments more often if they had reliable protection for financial transactions, it is clear that providers need to do more to safeguard transactional data for the long-term profitability and reputation of their business.”

Consumers have sent mixed messages to firms regarding cyber security in the past. In January, it was revealed that potential wearable owners were holding off from buying the devices because of concerns over security and privacy.

But in another survey, more than a quarter of UK and US shoppers admitted they would buy from a website without checking its securityto snap up a good online deal.

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