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Tuesday, 08 November 2011 17:00

85% of Australians would stop dealing with an organisation after a data breach (maybe)

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So says the latest world-wide survey by Unisys that takes a bi-annual look at the security attitudes of people around the world.

Amongst other questions, the twice-yearly Unisys Security Index polled 1,205 Australian residents 18 years or older with the following question, to which a response of 'yes,' 'no' or 'don't know' was recorded.  The percentage results are included below after each optional action.

Thinking now about security related issues. If you became aware that personal information that was being held by an organisation you dealt with had been accessed by an unauthorised person, would you take any of the following actions?

1. Stop dealing with that organisation, such as closing your account
(85 / 10 / 4)
2. Continue dealing with the organisation but not online (24 / 67 / 8)
3. Take legal action (47 / 43 / 10)
4. Publicly expose the issue (64 / 30 / 6)
5. Change your passwords on that organisation's website and any other sites you are concerned about (88 / 5 / 6)

This means that when presented with a data breach (such as Taste or Lush), Australians would be most likely to change passwords (good!), stop dealing with the organisation (knee-jerk , but if they want to...), publicly expose the organisation (presumably via Facebook, Twitter, but also word-of-mouth), take legal action (yeah, sure!) and least likely to continue dealing, but not with their on-line entity (uh-huh).

Continued on the next page.


"These findings place any organisation that holds customer or client information on notice that Australians will be unforgiving if their private information is accessed by unauthorised people - whether accidently or as part of a malicious attack.  Consumers today recognise their power to fight back and will take action designed to impact the bottom line," said John Kendall, Security Program Director, Unisys Asia Pacific.

"Clearly, there are very real business and financial implications from the loss of customer trust and confidence.  Data security is not just an IT issue - it is a business issue," Mr Kendall said.

iTWire would prefer to respond that these results represent a whole lot of wishful thinking mixed in with a bunch of telling the surveyor what they want to hear.

For a start, how can 43% of respondents have the genuine desire and the wherewithal to instigate legal action?

Furthermore, reading the forum associated with the Taste breach, we see numerous concerned people, but not one threatening to abandon the service (or sue).

 

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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