Security Market Segment LS
Monday, 06 November 2017 12:54

Claim Aussie companies don’t meet consumer expectations on data protection

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Claim Aussie companies don’t meet consumer expectations on data protection Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australian businesses are failing to meet consumer expectations of protecting their personal information, with 45% of Australian consumers reportedly having been notified by a company or government agency that their personal information was lost or stolen because of data breaches.

According to the latest findings from a study by Ponemon commissioned by Australian security company Centrify, of these consumers suffering data breaches, 54% experienced two or more separate incidents, causing one third of them to sever their relationship with the organisation experiencing the data breach.

And 80% of consumers say a company’s privacy and security practices are very important to preserving their trust.

The latest figures come just after last week’s massive data breach which exposed personal details of nearly 50,000 Australian employees of several government agencies, banks and a utility.

“Yet, last week’s Australian data breach — coming after a record 40% increase in data breaches during 2016 — indicates that today’s security is neither secure nor providing consumers with a reason for confidence,” says Centrify.

According to Centrify, the Ponemon study reveals an alarming “trust gap”, with 70% of consumers believing companies have an obligation to take reasonable steps to secure their personal information – a view shared by only 46% of CMOs and 44% IT professionals in Australia.

Centrify chief product officer Bill Mann said these survey findings were a wake-up call for the C-suite. “Data breaches continue to cost them customers and affect the bottom line – but don’t have to,” he said.

“According to Forrester, 80% of breaches involve privileged credentials misuse, which is a vulnerability with a clear solution. Companies can effectively stop breaches through a trifecta of Identity Services for applications, endpoints and infrastructure. By going a long way to ensuring company security, these steps ultimately help garner customer loyalty.”

And he says that when it comes to personal information security, the gap between consumer expectations and corporate reality is significant, and can have a detrimental effect as organisations work to establish deeper connections with customers.

Mann says this is especially true with the increased adoption of Internet of Things devices, such as fitness trackers, smart watches and connected cars, and that organisations can recognise and respect consumers’ desire for better security by adopting a high security profile that will instill confidence both internally and externally.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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