American businesses ignoring the effects of data hacks: studies

Many American business big shots are clueless.

They don’t understand how customers and employees now view data breaches.

That is the conclusion reached by several studies, including one from Shred-it, an information security company.

American businesses are ignoring “the serious impact any data breach can have on their reputations and bottom line,” according to the latest Shred-it report.

Shred-it, which interviewed 100 corporate executives, 1,000 small business owners and 2,000 members of the general public, said business relationships can be fragile.

For example, 35 percent of customers indicated “they would lose trust in an organization following a data breach.”

Shred-it found “66 percent of Americans do not believe that all digital data breaches are disclosed.” A large percentage of employees also said they would consider leaving a company that had a data breach.

Gemalto, a digital security company, found an anomaly: Customers are willing to take risks online, but blame the company for problems.

Only 29 percent believe companies will make serious efforts to protect data, and 58 percent think data will be breached, according to the survey of 9,000 customers. Two-thirds told Gemalto they will not work with companies that have data breaches.

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Shred-it officials found three themes: “a growing sense of denial among business leaders that information security is a real concern; a growing risk among every company’s employee base that breaches could impact retention; and a growing willingness among the general public to hold any company suffering a breach accountable.”

Over the last decade, about 10,000 data breaches occurred in the US. They resulted in 11 billion records and $1.6 trillion stolen, Comparitech said.

Comparitech said California recorded the largest number of data breaches. New York was second.

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