Cyberattacks and Changing Consumer Behavior- What You Need to Know?

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With the increasing cyber threats and businesses compromising sensitive customer information, consumers are now worried about how brands store and secure their data. No one would ever wish to consider an online store that’s always compromising user information and is consistently on the radar of cybercriminals. And this trend isn’t new.

With the growing adoption of technology and the availability of ultra-fast internet services, the world is witnessing an increased number of cyberattacks. And this is a matter of concern for brands since consumers are now worried about the privacy and security of their data.

Undoubtedly, organizations that cannot convince consumers of their robust information security and privacy would lag behind their competitors.

Since consumers are already aware of various cyber threats, businesses should quickly gear themselves to deal with the changing consumer behavior. Let’s discuss the aspects associated with the growing threat vectors, the changing consumer behavior, and what organizations need to know.

Relation Between Enterprise Attacks and Consumer Behavior

Believe it or not, consumers are always aware of any data breach or identity theft causing financial and reputational losses to a brand.

And these kinds of attacks result in financial loss either through ransomware payouts or hefty fines for not maintaining necessary compliance. Hence, businesses may suddenly increase their goods and services charges to compensate for the losses. And this could be alarming for consumers.

On the other hand, any breach leading to exposed records hampers consumer trust. And consumers that are already cautious about how businesses handle their data switch to alternatives. Hence, the significant impact of organizational cyberattacks on consumers is witnessed when a cyber attack breaches customer data. These attacks open customers to threats, including identity theft and fraud.

Also, attackers may sell this data on the dark web, which could be fatal, and consumers are aware of these threat vectors.

In a nutshell, if your business faces a data breach or compromised customer data, you will surely lose your current and potential customers.

The Paradigm Shift in Consumer Behavior

Besides financial and reputational losses, one major drawback of a cyberattack is that customers mistrust businesses that suffered a data breach. And this leads to customers switching. And this sudden shift from one brand to its competitors also impacts future customers as they don’t wish to compromise their details.

Consumers are consistently watching the trends and are always up-to-date regarding the increasing number of cybersecurity threats where brands get attacked and compromise their customers’ details. Also, the compromised data gives several opportunities for hackers to sneak into the business network or attempt phishing attacks against individual customers to exploit their identities further.

And when we talk about finances and healthcare, things are much worse. One loophole in managing crucial customer data could lead to fatal consequences. And even a single instance of a data leak could cause most customers to switch.

Apart from this, most of the citizens of a country are also concerned about state-sponsored cyberattacks on financial institutes, national defense systems, healthcare organizations, and other government agencies.

What are the Concerns of Customers in a Digital-First Era?

Gone are the days when customers weren’t concerned about how vendors and service providers used their personal information; today, they’re more worried about every bit of information they share with businesses. Also, they need complete transparency about how brands would be using their personal information and behavior-related data for delivering personalized experiences.

On the other hand, businesses increasingly rely on customer data that helps them create great experiences through personalization. And this requires consent from users.

And some of the concerns of users include:

  • The amount of data being collected: Most users fear that sharing too much data about themselves and their preferences could be fatal in case of a data breach. Hence, they prefer sharing necessary details only.
  • Unethical use of data: Many users also fear that their details, including banking details, could be used for unethical purposes, which could be fatal in the long run.
  • Privacy breach: Another common concern among users is that any data breach at the vendor’s end would compromise their privacy. Hence, the websites/apps that become victims of any data breach in the past aren’t trustworthy for most users.
  • Data exploitation: Many users also believe that sharing too much personal data with a brand could eventually lead to data misuse in case of a data breach. The attackers may sell their data on the dark web. Hence, they are always reluctant to share too many details during their first interaction with a brand.

All these aspects affect a brand’s overall lead generation and customer acquisition rates. And businesses shouldn’t ignore these aspects if they wish to enhance brand loyalty and customer trust.

The Future of Consumer Acquisition

Cyberattacks are on the rise — coming at an increasing cost. Consumers are getting more concerned about companies’ ability to keep their information safe, and are taking actions to protect themselves.

So, what does it mean for businesses that collect consumer data? Well, if we look at the trends, in that case, the growing frequency of cyber attacks and increasing awareness and concern among customers about their privacy and data security demands a new level of cybersecurity best practices.

Since cybersecurity has hidden costs, customers and brands can have financial and reputational damages in case of a data breach compromising sensitive information. Apart from this, the ransomware costs or the costs required to overcome the loss could be huge. Hence, businesses must incorporate cybersecurity best practices that can help maintain good cybersecurity hygiene and consumer trust.

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