Brand integrity can really suffer from data breaches, a recent survey found.
Eighty-seven percent of consumers said they lost respect for businesses after those companies lost customers' personal information, according to InfoSurv's survey of 400 consumers. Tablus, a company that provides systems for protecting software, backed the survey and announced the results Tuesday.
According to Tablus, respondents' comments indicated that a loss of personal information equals a loss of business because consumers believe businesses should place a high priority on maintaining trust and the confidentiality of their information.
In fact, 96% of respondents said that protecting customers from data breaches should be a company's highest priority.
Ninety-five percent of respondents said there is no excuse for exposing customers' confidential information, and 93% said that businesses are obligated to protect sensitive content.
Ninety-four percent of respondents said if there's a technology to prevent the loss of confidential and personal information, all businesses should use it.
"This survey shows how essential content protection is to an organization, not just from an IT perspective, but from the value a brand has in the public eye," David Puglia, VP of marketing for Tablus, said in a statement.
Ninety percent of respondents said they did not trust companies that could not protect their confidential information, 85% said they would prefer to do business with companies that have never experienced data breaches, and 82% said they would warn others against doing business with companies that exposed customers' personal information.
Eighty-eight percent of respondents said that companies that better protect customers' information have better reputations and 82% said that companies that never lost data were more trustworthy than those that have.
"Newspaper headlines have shown how fragile brand equity can be after a company experiences a data breach, and companies must stay ahead of the threat in order to maintain brand equity," Puglia said.