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Security threats cause consumer concerns

10 April 2017 - 15:38 by Sarah Collinson

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Shoppers are less likely to trust retailers which have fallen victim to successful attacks by cybercriminals, eroding loyalty as a result.

This is according to a new study conducted by Cisco in which close to three quarters of respondents said that they would usually avoid engaging with any organisation after it has publically admitted to suffering a hack.

Meanwhile, 90 per cent said that if they were implicated as part of the breach, with personal data ending up in the wrong hands, then they would stop spending cash with a particular outlet until steps to bolster security were taken.

Less than one in 10 people said that they would go so far as to take a firm to court over a breach, but the majority argued that they would consider adopting this approach, proving that consumers are increasingly aware of the damage that can be done in the event of a hack.

Companies which purport to offer safe shopping online to consumers need to back up such claims with consistent, resilient security measures. And while retailers tend to take great care to ensure that these are in place, the reality is that breaches occur with surprising regularity.

Customer loyalty is especially hard to foster in the digital age, since it is easier for shoppers to check prices across multiple vendors and opt for the most affordable outlet, rather than sticking with a business they have used in the past.

Of course, it is generally true that while the biggest retailers which offer safe shopping online are able to muster the most significant resources to prevent attacks from succeeding, they are also the most appealing targets for cybercriminals. This puts them in a tricky position and means shoppers are right to think carefully about whether they should trust a retailer after a breach.