Surprising Link Found Between Ransomware, Purchase Behavior And Brand Loyalty

Nearly nine of ten consumers consider the trustworthiness of a business prior to purchasing a product or service, and 59% of consumers would likely avoid doing business with an organization that had experienced a cyberattack in the past year.

The research from Arcserve, released Wednesday, measures how cybercrime influences purchasing behavior and brand loyalty.

Findings from the study of nearly 2,000 consumers across North America, United Kingdom, France, and Germany found that while most consumers take necessary security precautions to protect their online accounts, businesses may not do enough to protect information, driving sales to competitors that can. 

Some 70% believe businesses aren’t doing enough to secure their personal information and assume it has been compromised without them knowing it. Some 30% of respondents said security concerns about their personally identifiable information (PII) was the sole reason they chose not to open an account or transact with a business.

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The findings from the study also attempt to better understand the link between cyberattacks and consumer behavior. The data suggests that one in four consumers will abandon a product or service in favor of a competitor after one ransomware-related attack, failed transaction, or instance of inaccessible information. 

The data also found that the tolerance for these events quickly deteriorates. Some 66% of respondents say they would turn to a competitor if an organization could not restore systems and applications within three days following a cyberattack. More than one-third of those would willingly switch after 24 hours of waiting to access their information or make a transaction. 

Reviews have become a tool for consumers to share their negative experiences. More than eight in ten respondents admit to sharing their negative, ransomware-related experiences with family, friends or colleagues, posting about their experiences online, or emailing about the incidents.

Consumers are intolerant of cyberattacks. Many will walk away from the business and brand. In fact 28% will walk away from any business after just one disruption. Nearly half of consumers would walk away from their banking or securities provider immediately after experiencing a ransomware-related event that prohibited them from transacting or accessing information, and 43% would seek out a competitive communications product or service.

The study also found that consumers are willing to pay more for privacy and protection. Some 43% will spend more — across the board — for products and services from a business they consider to be more reliable and secure. Some 51% would pay more with banking and security businesses; 44% would pay more with communications, data storage, and public cloud providers; and 39% would pay more with media services, education, and transportation organizations.

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