Brits don't believe companies can keep their data safe

The general public feel companies are not capable of preventing and detecting cybercrime, a new survey has shown.

Conducted by independent research firm TNS on behalf of Bit9 + Carbon Black, the survey asked more than 2,000 UK consumers how they felt about the recent data breaches.

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of consumers say the time it is taking businesses to realise that sensitive customer data has been lost is ‘unacceptable’ and as a result, there are grave concerns about the existence of breaches that have yet to be discovered. Over four in five (81 per cent) consumers in Britain actually fear that cybercriminals could already have stolen their personal details without anyone realising.

As a result, consumers are calling for harsher penalties for businesses that could have detected or prevented a breach if they had more effective security measures in place. More than 80 per cent believe they should be compensated in such an event, while 59 per cent say a fine should be levied on the organisation.

Some seven per cent would love to see someone taking the blame for a data breach and doing some time behind bars.

Almost everyone (94 per cent) believes companies should know, within 24 hours, if their data had been stolen, and 47 per cent think that should be narrowed to a matter of minutes.

A constant, 24-hour surveillance of data is something 63 per cent of people would love to see, while 93 per cent indicated their support for the mandatory and immediate disclosure of any discovered data breaches to the public and the authorities, which is set to be enforced by the forthcoming EU Data Protection Regulation.

However, many believe the EU isn’t going far enough: 94 per cent of respondents believe it should be mandatory for any business storing their data to have appropriate processes in place to ensure they are able to detect if data has been stolen as quickly as possible, so that ignorance cannot be used as an excuse for non-disclosure.