75% of Consumers Ready to Ditch Brands Hit By Ransomware 

If your brand has been subject to a ransomware attack, we’ve got some more bad news for you.

A recent survey has revealed that 75% of consumers would stop using a brand if they’ve been hit by a ransomware attack.

Over 1,000 consumers were surveyed and the results showed that a hefty majority (81%) felt “very scared or worried” that their data was being held by an organization that didn’t have robust enough cybersecurity. So much so, that one third of them would be prepared to move to a competitor brand. 

Consumers Are Savvier With Security Now More Than Ever

In a world where data breaches seem to be happening every other week, consumers understandably place a huge importance on the security of their data. This, in turn, has led to justified demands that the vendors who hold their data must employ appropriate protection. 

The survey from backup appliance company Object First, found that 55% of respondents favor brands with data protection measures such as password protection, access management strategies, and a reliable backup and recovery plan.

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For those who have experienced an attack on a brand, 30% lose all confidence in the company’s data protection plan, and one third demand evidence of a resilient backup and recovery strategy.

Let’s Hear It for the Data Protection Plans

Interestingly, 61% of consumers revealed that a second ransomware attack on a brand was enough for them to reevaluate their negative perception of a data protection and recovery plan. It seems that any doubts around their effectiveness disappear when in the midst of an attack.

So while the demand for a backup and recovery practice is clear, it’s more nuanced than brands simply being aware they could be subject to ransomware. A proactive approach is the right approach, saving security teams the costly and time-sensitive pressures of being responsive should an attack happen.

“Given the indispensable role of data in today’s world, it is no wonder consumers are seeking greater protection as organizations generate and consume more data than ever. While preventing a ransomware attack is the ideal scenario, it is not always feasible. Consumers take data protection seriously, and organizations must prioritize safeguarding consumer data against modern threats. ” – David Bennett, CEO of Object First.

By providing a comprehensive and tough data protection plan, brands are more likely to retain their reputation and the confidence of their consumers.

Gen Z Appear More Tolerant Of Attacks

A further insight from the survey revealed that ransomware attacks are viewed differently by different generations.

A higher percentage of Gen Z (37%) will happily take an apology over monetary compensation (12%). But Baby Boomers are less likely to be satisfied with either, as 74% of them state their trust in a vendor would be “irreparably damaged after suffering more than one ransomware attack.”

However, what the survey has shown is that safeguarding consumer data with tools like password managers and VPNs should be a key consideration for brands, particularly as it seems to have risen sharply in demand.

While a robust strategy should be made specific to your company, simple steps such as encrypting sensitive user data, only collecting essential information, and implementing multi-factor authentication will all help too.

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Written by:
Ellis Di Cataldo (MA) has over 9 years experience writing about, and for, some of the world’s biggest tech companies. She's been the lead writer across digital campaigns, always-on content and worldwide product launches, for global brands including Sony, Electrolux, Byrd, The Open University and Barclaycard. Her particular areas of interest are business trends, startup stories and product news.
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