Australian Consumer Digital Trust is Lowest in the World

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CA Technologies report reveals significant gap between consumer and business perceptions on digital trust

CA Technologies has revealed the Australian results of an extensive global survey that highlights the lack of confidence in the way organisations collect, store and use the digital information of its customers. Consumer digital trust in Australian organisations was ranked the lowest in the world, indexing at 54 points out of 100. This compares to countries including the US at 61 points and our Chinese neighbour at 67 points.

The CA Technologies report asked consumers, cybersecurity professionals and business executives about their views on digital trust. Conducted by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, the inaugural report, titled “Global State of Digital Trust Survey and Index 2018,” reveals that consumer digital trust is lower than organisations think, with Australia reporting an 18 per cent perception gap – the largest gap in the Asia Pacific region and the second largest in the world behind Italy. To highlight this further, the number of Australian consumers surveyed who claim their trust decreased, outnumbers those who claim the opposite.

The report focuses on how consumers perceive and trust organisations to protect their digital data. It also includes significant data about how business leaders and cybersecurity professionals within organisations view their responsibilities of data stewardship, the licensing of consumer data to third parties and the technologies they are implementing to protect data and customer privacy.

“This report comes at a critical time, as consumers are increasingly transacting online – whether for work, leisure or play – providing organisations with access to vast amounts of data, from consumer profiles and personal information to user behaviour and habits. With that increasing store of data also comes greater responsibility to protect it against abuse from external and internal sources,” said James Ross, director of Security, CA Technologies Australia & New Zealand.

In Australia, IT security professionals (73 per cent) and business executives (50 per cent) both admit to using consumer data containing personally identifiable information (PII). Meanwhile, the sale of consumer data by business executives in Australia is the lowest in the world at 33 per cent.

Amidst a continuous stream of headlines about major data breaches, the degree to which consumers have placed their trust in organisations to protect their PII online has never been more relevant. The report reveals that 38 per cent of Australian consumers claim to currently use, or have used in the past, services of organisations that have publicly disclosed a data breach. Likewise, of those that experienced a data breach, more than a third (36 per cent) stopped using the services after a breach occurred.

Jarad Carleton, industry principal, Cybersecurity at Frost & Sullivan, said, “We are at a crossroads in the information age as more companies are being pulled into the spotlight for failing to protect the data they hold, so with this research, we sought to understand how consumers feel about putting data in organisations’ hands and how those organisations view their duty of care to protect that data.

“What the survey found is that there is certainly a price to pay – whether you’re a consumer or you run a business that handles consumer data – when it comes to maintaining data privacy. Respect for consumer privacy must become an ethical pillar for any business that collects user data.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • 62 per cent of Australian consumers say they are “definitely” cautious about sharing personal data over the internet
  • 52 per cent of consumers feel that well-known brands will offer high protection of their data. They also have more trust in brands whose website provides a security overview page to describe how it secures data (42 per cent), and if the company is recommended by people they know (38 per cent)
  • 64 per cent of consumers said they continued using the online services of an organisation(s) after a data breach
  • 67 per cent of consumers believe that companies, whose services they use over the internet, sell their personal data to other companies
  • 66 per cent of consumers believe that protecting their personal data is important to the organisations whose services they use over the internet. However, a perception gap exists, with 95 per cent of business believing that protecting personal data that has been shared with them over the internet is important to consumers.

CA’s James Ross believes that in our digital world, consumers expect security and privacy to go hand-in-hand with a great user experience.

“In the application economy where data is king, organisations must prioritise data privacy and security or risk serious ramifications. Organisations can mitigate these risks by taking a proactive stance on security, such as narrowing their policies for sharing user data, reducing privileged user access, implementing continuous user authentication technologies and adopting better cybersecurity and privacy controls to stop hackers.

“The study clearly shows that trust is fleeting if organisations don’t do their due diligence to protect consumer data from getting into the wrong hands. Now, more than ever, organisations need to understand that success in the digital economy requires a security-first mindset – a key tenet in CA’s Modern Software Factory model. A loss of digital trust has implications on all aspects of a business and brand perception, so organisations owe it to their customers and shareholders to get it right.”

Survey Methodology

The global online survey of 990 consumers, 336 security professionals and 324 business executives across 10 countries was sponsored by CA Technologies and conducted by Frost & Sullivan in March and April 2018. The survey’s respondents assume senior business and IT positions at public and private enterprises across nine industry sectors. For full survey methodology details, see the report “Global State of Digital Trust Survey and Index 2018.”

Download the full report and access other supporting materials:

About CA Technologies
CA Technologies (NASDAQ:CA) creates software that fuels transformation for companies and enables them to seize the opportunities of the application economy. Software is at the heart of every business in every industry. From planning, to development, to management and security, CA is working with companies worldwide to change the way we live, transact, and communicate – across mobile, private and public cloud, distributed and mainframe environments. Learn more at www.ca.com.

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