The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) reports that declining levels of online privacy and security have led to lower levels of activity on the internet.

Among households that have experienced a data breach, 40% refrained from conducting online transactions, while 35% avoided buying goods and services online.

The numbers are staggering, almost to the point of being incredulous.

But, there is a growing body of evidence that proves that once you get hacked customers will never go back.


NTIA Results on online activities avoided due to privacy or security concerns, percent of households (HHs)


We Assure You, Consumers Do Care About Their Privacy

A Reddit discussion about the NTIA survey results attracted more than 3,300 upvotes, with many users sharing their own concerns about the ongoing assault on their privacy.

The top-rated comment was one calling for better privacy. “So is the U S. Department of Commerce going to do anything about this? Or help others work towards more privacy?

Another riled-up consumer wrote: “I know Target and a couple companies that will never, ever, ever get my bank/cc shit again. They will use my prepaid AMEX and like it. And just to rock the boat, my prepaid is an AMEX, so I know they pay for me to use it.


Target: Case In Point

Target’s huge data breach fiasco in 2013 is the textbook example of how a data breach has a direct and negative impact on your sales.


The now infamous Target REDcard


The epically disastrous hack saw 40 million credit and debit cards, and 70 million PII records stolen by data thieves. Target’s profits also dropped 46% compared to the year before.

Post-hack, 35% of Target customers surveyed said that the breach reduced the frequency at which they shop at Target, with 13% saying that they have stopped shopping at the retail giant altogether.

British telecommunication conglomeration TalkTalk also reported a loss in more than 100,000 customers and £60 million as a direct result of a data breach.

Customers are not short on places to shop. We live in a world where there can be 5 different convenience stores within a few blocks. If you fail your customers, they’ll walk.


The Finer Details

And in case you forgot, in addition to a dip in your sales, lawsuits and the costs involved in a data breach, you’ll also suffer fines courtesy of the PCI Security Standards Council and European Commission.

With data security standards like the PCI DSS as well as the EU’s GDPR, you should think twice if you’re still taking data security lightly.

Especially with the GDPR that is slated to take effect on 25 May 2018, fines can reach up to €20 million, or 4% of your business’ global turnover.


Bridging the Gap

The less customer data you store, the less hackers will take from you if you get hacked.

Your company will lose approximately $154 for every record lost in a data breach. But think of it this way: every record your company safeguards, is $154 you just saved.

You’ll never know when you will be the next target of a major data breach, so there’s no better time than now to get started on locking down your business’ sensitive data.



With Ground Labs’ Enterprise Recon software, taking charge of your business’ data becomes easy and efficient.

Key features like real-time scanning, role delegation and scan scheduling help you easily take control of your data, and ensure that no sensitive data goes undiscovered.

It’s the most efficient and effective way to ensure that even if hackers break into your network, there will be nothing for them to steal.
Sign up for a free trial of Enterprise Recon today for a first-hand look at how you can keep your customers loyal, with strengthened data security.

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