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Half of UK consumers refuse to do business with hacked companies

(Image credit: Image Credit: Welcomia / Shutterstock)

F5 Networks has released a new survey that sheds light on consumer attitudes towards cyber security, revealing that Brits are ready to take a tough stance on hacking and a majority refuse to do business with any company that has been hacked in the past.

Of those surveyed, 50 per cent claimed they would not share their data with or purchase any products from a company that was previously hacked.    

F5's survey also brought the conflicting views on cyber-crime out into the open, with one in ten UK consumers admitting that they viewed hackers as 'the good guys'.  Surprisingly, these numbers doubled amongst French consumers (19 per cent) and 14 per cent of Germans acknowledged that they view hackers in a positive light.

Financial gain is seen as the main motivation of hackers by 66 per cent of participants. This was followed by disruptive, political or religious aims (9 per cent) and entertainment (7 per cent). Almost three quarters of those surveyed (72 per cent) feel as though hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their methods of attack.

Sixty-one per cent of UK consumers believe that companies are not dedicating enough effort to protecting themselves and their customers from cyber criminals. In France and Germany however, this number is slightly lower at 49 per cent and 46 per cent respectively.

When the participants were questioned as to how businesses should work to improve their security, “investing more in security” was the top answer in all countries. The second was “educating consumers about threats” and firms making the decision to work together to “pool knowledge” was the third.

The survey also revealed that eight per cent of UK consumers failed to change their passwords after an organisation they have an account with fell victim to a hack. Thirty five per cent of respondents though claimed that they do not have an account with any firm that has been hacked, which is likely due to consumers being unaware of the numerous security breaches that have occurred in this year alone.

Security Director EMEA at F5 Networks, Gad Elkin, offered further insight into the results of the survey: “Consumers increasingly feel it is the responsibility of businesses to lead the fight against hackers and ensure they are protecting their customers. While consumers have to improve their digital behaviour with stricter security mind-set, still the responsibility of protecting data resides with the business at hand.”

“Most worryingly for companies, customers across Europe are clearly willing to vote with their feet when it comes to cyber security, and choose competitors with a clean hacking history. Businesses must take heed and improve both their own defences and how they educate customers about cyber risks.

"Get it right and companies will build valuable loyalty with consumers, get it wrong and the effect will likely be felt in the bottom line.”

Image Credit: Welcomia / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.