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Businesses struggling to regain customer trust after data breaches and cyberattacks

(Image credit: Image Credit: Shutterstock/xtock)

For businesses, trust (opens in new tab) is hard to build and easy to lose, a new report from Okta suggests.

Polling 2,041 office workers in the UK for the report, the company found that almost two fifths (39 percent) lost trust in a company following a data incident.

After data mishandling or a breach comes to light, most UK workers change their user setting, while almost half (47 percent) take the nuclear option and stop using the company’s services entirely. More than a third delete the accounts they have with the company and remove the app from their devices.

But it’s not just about current customers; people also actively steer clear of companies tainted by breaches. More than half admitted they were worried about data breaches when browsing online, with 47 percent not being comfortable with companies asking for too much information.

When it comes to building trust, the best method is to ensure a service is reliable, which Okta found is the primary criteria for almost two fifths (39 percent) of Brits. A further 25 percent said measures such as multi-factor authentication make them trust a brand more.

“We have seen with this study that trust is becoming a strategic must-have for businesses that want to operate in today’s highly competitive, digital-first landscape,” said Ben King, CSO EMEA at Okta.

“Organizations need to ensure that they are paying attention to what consumers want the most, which is service reliability and optimal security. Once they’ve gained that trust, brands should be in no doubt that they must work hard to retain it, and that effective cybersecurity is key to them doing so.”

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.