Security & Fraud

‘Cyber Confusion’ Takes Ahold Of American Consumers

Consumer Cyber Confusion

According to the results of the Hacking America: Cybersecurity Perception study, American consumers are at risk of “cyber confusion” in both the workplace and at home.

The research, from Kaspersky Lab and HackerOne, revealed that both consumers and businesses in the U.S. are in need of a deeper understanding of cyberthreats and how to protect sensitive data online.

“This study helps to highlight the ongoing confusion among Americans, both at home and while at work, regarding cybersecurity,” Ryan Naraine, head of the U.S. Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab, said in a statement.

“Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and it’s imperative that the security community, businesses and governments routinely work together to educate Americans on cyberthreats. We need to ensure that consumers and organizations are not only educated on the risks but also know the best solutions for safeguarding sensitive data from cybercriminals,” Naraine continued.

Of the 5,000 U.S. consumers surveyed, just 36 percent said they would choose to be a customer of their employer knowing what they know about the cybersecurity practices the company has in place.

Whether a company works with hackers to help boost security also had an impact on the purchasing decisions of those surveyed. More than one in five (22 percent) said they would be more likely to shop with a brand that hired hackers as part of its cybersecurity efforts.

That number rose to 29 percent for customers aged 35–44 years old specifically, while those 55 and older said it would not impact their purchasing decision at all (55 percent).

Overall, the survey noted that more U.S. consumers look to others to take responsibility of their security, but younger generations believe consumers should take responsibility for themselves when it comes to protecting their data and making purchases online.

“Every business online today is vulnerable to new risks that are inevitably being passed down to their customers,” Alex Rice, CTO and founder of HackerOne, added. “The data from this report highlights a growing trend that consumers cast votes of confidence in the businesses that proactively work with hackers to keep their data safe from breaches.”

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