Saudi consumers place responsibility for protecting their personal data firmly on organizations holding their data — and not themselves, said a report.
The report said that 63.26 percent of Saudi consumers claim that companies are responsible for protecting their data while 36.74 percent believe that they are responsible for the security of their own data.
The report titled “2016 Data Breaches and Customer Loyalty” is prepared by Gemalto. According to the findings of the report, 42 percent of Saudis believe companies take protection of their personal data very seriously.
In the wake of data breaches worldwide, consumers are becoming increasingly fearful of their data being stolen. Globally, more than 4.8 billion data records have been exposed since 2013 with identity theft being the leading type of data breach.
“Consumers have clearly made the decision that they are prepared to take risks when it comes to their security, but should anything go wrong they put the blame with the business,” said Ahmad Abdallah, regional sales manager, KSA, Gemalto.
According to Gemalto’s H1 2016 Breach Level Index, data breaches in the Middle East increased by 50 percent in the first six months of 2016 compared to the last six months of 2015. Additionally, 10,537,437 data records were compromised compared to 66,050 records previously, across the region.
Clearly, hackers continue to go after unprotected, sensitive personal data enabling them to steal identities, resulting in long-term implications for consumer confidence in digital services and the companies that provide them.
Despite becoming more aware of the threats posed to them online, 8 percent of Saudi consumers believe there are no apps or websites out there that pose the greatest risk to them and consumers are not changing their behavior as a result.
The report said that 72 percent of Saudi consumers believe they will be a victim of a breach at some point, and organizations need to be prepared for the loss of business such incidents may cause. 39 percent are unlikely to do business with an organization, be it health care, a bank or a retailer, that experienced a breach.
The study found that 65 percent of those who have been a victim of a breach attribute this to a fraudulent website.
The lack of consumer confidence could be due to the lack of strong security measures being implemented by businesses. Within online banking, passwords are still the most common authentication methods. Solutions like two-factor authentication and data encryption trail behind.
Similar results can be seen in both the retail space, with only 26 percent of Saudi consumers using online retail accounts claiming two-factor authentication is used on all their apps and websites, and in social media. Only 24 percent admitted to having a complete understanding of what data encryption is and does.
“The modern-day consumer is all about convenience and they expect businesses to provide this, while also keeping their data safe. With the impending threats of consumers taking legal action against companies, an education process is clearly needed to show consumers the steps companies take to protect their data,” said Abdallah.