Survey: Most Americans Worry about Data Breaches to Banks and Credit Cards

A majority of U.S. residents are concerned about data breaches involving banks, utilities and health organization, but are evenly split on whether the government should ask private businesses …

A majority of U.S. residents are concerned about data breaches involving banks, utilities and health organization, but are evenly split on whether the government should ask private businesses to disclose the breaches, according to a survey conducted by Unisys Corporation.

Respondents to the survey said they were most worried about data breaches hitting their banks and financial institutions, with two-thirds (67 percent) reporting concern. A majority of Americans surveyed also reported concern about data breaches involving government agencies (62 percent), health organizations (60 percent) and telecommunications and Internet service providers (59 percent).

The poll was undertaken in March, via telephone interviews, approximately a month before the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was passed by the United States House of Representatives.

Findings released from the same survey also showed most Americans harbor some level of concern about identity theft (83 percent) and credit card fraud (82 percent), both of which can arise from breaches at large organizations.

Roughly half (48 percent) of respondents said they do not believe private businesses should be forced to disclose and share cyber attack intelligence, but a similar proportion (46 percent) said they think Congress should pass cybersecurity legislation mandating that the private sector share cyber-attack information with the government.

“Americans clearly see a need for stronger methods to prevent cyber-attacks, and many see a natural role for government in that process, but they differ on precisely how government and the private sector should interact in that regard,” said Steve Vinsik, vice president of enterprise security for Unisys. “Regardless of where the legislation ends up, businesses and government agencies need to realize that the costs of breaches far outweigh those of prevention – and that Americans are paying close attention.”

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