Big Data

Cybersecurity: Bridging The Trust Divide

Consumers express a growing fear of data theft, skeptical on protection

LONDON, July 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — According to a new study published today in the Brunswick Review Spotlight on Cybersecurity, consumers see little difference between data privacy and security.

The study, conducted by Brunswick Insight, surveyed more than 7,000 consumers across Asia, Europe and the Americas.

The study also found that while data is becoming increasingly important to companies, consumers are expressing a growing fear of data theft and a deepening skepticism about how their personal information is collected and protected. In fact, data showed that for the majority of consumers worldwide, concerns about the security and privacy of personal data top those about the economy, war, healthcare or climate change.

“As a result, any data announcement is interpreted through the lens of security concerns, creating a challenging corporate communications environment,” said study author Peter Zysk of Brunswick Insight.

Excerpt:

  • Your company might have a cybersecurity officer and a privacy officer, with separate responsibilities. The problem is, your customers don’t think that way. New research from Brunswick Insight finds that consumers around the world rarely distinguish between data privacy and data security. While data is becoming increasingly important to companies, consumers are expressing a growing fear of data theft and a deepening skepticism about how their personal information is collected and protected. 

    As a result, they are beginning to withhold information, exhibiting newfound caution. A US Department of Commerce study found that privacy and security concerns stopped nearly half (45 percent) of US households on occasion from some online action such as shopping, banking or social activities. 

    Our survey of more than 7,000 consumers across Asia, Europe and the Americas shows that clear communication about data protection policies can go a long way toward easing consumers’ security concerns. Consumers know that their personal data is constantly being collected and they recognize that their online privacy may be diminished as a result. In the survey, the most frequently used term selected to describe company data collection practices is “intrusive.” 

    when bad things happen in the cyber realm, companies have to assume they will be blamed

    This response is not just simple irritation, but downright fear – so much fear, in fact, that in many countries concerns about the security and privacy of personal data top those about the economy, war, healthcare or climate change. Consumers are three times more likely to be afraid of how companies may use their data than excited about the potential for innovation and advancement. Companies clearly need to do more to communicate the benefits of data collection.

When bad things happen…

“Consumers hold companies to a high standard of accountability when it comes to protecting their personal data, so when bad things happen in the cyber realm, companies have to assume they will be blamed,” said George Little, former Pentagon and CIA spokesman and head of Brunswick Group’s cybersecurity practice.

“Companies can do a better job of creating solutions and explaining how those solutions protect personal information. Cybersecurity is not only a technology issue, it’s a critical business issue with business and reputational risks,” added Little.

The full survey results can be found here.

 

 

 

About Brunswick Group
Brunswick is an advisory firm specializing in critical issues and corporate relations. Founded in 1987, Brunswick is an organically grown, private partnership with 23 offices around the world. http://www.brunswickgroup.com/