As Malware Continues to Grow, Customers Not Forgiving of Breached Businesses

An enterprise recovery from a malicious incursion often means so much more than just firming up security, providing credit monitoring for customers and issuing public apologies. As a DarkReading article pointed out, one of the biggest post-breach hurdles for companies will be the restoration of consumer trust — and that is sometimes impossible to accomplish.

Many Customers Will Simply Stop Shopping at Breached Businesses
For a company that is subjected to a malicious attack, the incursion itself is only the beginning of the headache. What really has the potential to derail operations is what comes after, particularly the widespread loss of customer trust.

As DarkReading pointed out, a recent survey found that one-third of customers said they would simply stop shopping at retailers that suffered a breach.The perception, after all, is that because these companies lacked the enterprise security to prevent an attack in the first place, who’s to say it won’t happen again?

Because of this understandable consumer logic, even the most heartfelt retailer displays of contrition can fall on deaf ears.

This is something Target discovered in the wake of its breach, when, even after repeatedly reaching out to customers, apologizing and offering credit monitoring services, the company saw its earnings take a massive 46 percent drop following the attack, according to The Wall Street Journal. For a smaller business, this loss of business may have proven too damaging to recover from.

There is Not Space in the Business World of Today for Unguarded Companies
Security analyst Al Pascual told DarkReading that customers simply lack the patience to deal with an attack and all the fallout it can cause, including having to change credit cards and potentially account for third-party purchases from a breached card.

“I think the straw breaking the camel’s back is customers now in droves are being inconvenienced [by breaches],” he said. “They never thought it could happen to them… Now they think, ‘This can happen to me.'”

The reality is that there is just not room in the retail world for weak businesses. For customers wary of Target after the breach, there will always be an alternative retailer that hasn’t experienced an attack of such devastating magnitude.

Staying afloat in the competitive enterprise climate of today means offering not only the best service possible, but also a protective infrastructure that makes customers feel safe doing business with you.


Entrust provides identity-based security solutions that empower enterprises, consumers, citizens and websites in more than 5,000 organizations spanning 85 countries. Entrust's identity-based approach offers the right balance between affordability, expertise and service. With more than 125 patents granted and pending, these world-class solutions include strong authentication, physical and logical access, credentialing, mobile security, fraud detection, digital certificates, SSL and PKI.


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