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Consumer Pressure for Cybersecurity

Consumer Pressure for Cybersecurity

Ping Identity, an American company that builds identity security for the global enterprise, revealed some sobering stats that small business owners need to consider.  The survey questioned consumers about how they view a data breach. As you can well imagine they do not like it. Worldwide data security is a major concern for consumers. Suffering a breach can definitely have a negative effect on a businesses perceived ability and concern for protecting their clients data.

  • 81% of those polled claimed they would not continue to do business that had suffered a data breach.
    This clearly shows that a data breach could easily shutter a small business.
  • Consumers expect the companies they do business with to protect their sensitive information.
    Well over 60% of those surveyed believe that protecting their customers information needs to be a primary concern to the business. This includes placing blame when an employee has been the victim of a phishing attack or if the company is breached because of unprotected wifi or other careless security practices.
  • Sharing a consumers data is high on the list of things they do not like.
    55% of consumers feel that a company is more likely to share their sensitive data without permission than they are to suffer a data breach.

“There’s no question, businesses risk losing customers and damaging their brands if they lack strong, transparent data protection practices,” said Richard Bird, chief customer information officer, Ping Identity. “With a large percentage of consumers holding companies responsible for data protection, there is a competitive advantage for organizations that deliver secure and convenient experiences through identity management—and with that, a danger for those who don’t.” Ping Identity

Many businesses are putting up cookie and usage policies that state in the fine print they have the right to share the users information with affiliates and partners. I personally feel that when a company forces a customer to accept cookies and additionally give that company the right to sell and/or share their data, they are being irresponsible with their valued customers information and somehow will give them a free pass. Annoying and content blocking cookie disclaimers and acceptance banners that require you to accept their terms in order to provide a better customer experience is pure crap as far as I am concerned. To be honest, when I want an ‘Experience’ I will go on a vacation, otherwise i just want to read or shop without being handed someone else’s vision of what my ‘experience’ should look like and a lot of other people feel the same way.

People know those policy acceptance banners allow a business to use and sell their data to provide an income stream for the business. Many will also never accept the terms and will look for content or products elsewhere that they feel will be less inclined to compromise their info.

When you start adding all these little annoyances up along with general distrust of a companies ability and willingness to protect their valuable customers from harm one, small slip can be disastrous.

But what can a business do to bolster their image and demonstrate its trustworthiness to its clients?

As a business owner you know that having a web presence is necessary these days. It is therefore to your benefit to take data security seriously and let your customers know that you do. I understand that your website may not be a real revenue generator and actually seems like a money pit instead. Regardless of your views on this I suggest you make a security pledge instead of forcing a potential customer to submit to allowing you to use their information as a product for sale. That does not mean you can’t use cookies to collect data for your internal use however. Just make sure you make your online customers aware of it and assure them you will not sell or distribute it to other parties. That seems like a more welcoming and trustworthy tack than covering half your page with a banner that is very annoying and forces them to accept and allow you to be less concerned with their data than making a profit at all costs.

It is really easy to do too. Rather than a big banner or pop-up that covers the content your customers are trying to access that forces them to accept or they can’t get to your stuff, how about a smaller one that plainly states that you use cookies for internal company purposes and you pledge to never sell or otherwise distribute their data to a third party. If you do choose to go this route remember what you promised and never sell or otherwise distribute your valued customers data.

Another thing I recommend is to be transparent on your website. It can go a long way to showing your customers you are actively protecting your website which along with the previous suggestions demonstrates you take the security of their information and privacy seriously too.

If you need help creating your Privacy Policy for your website or any of your employee or other company policies please do not hesitate to reach out. We will be happy to work with you in any way we can.

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