The commercial consequences of data breaches

Everyone now knows that a personal data breach may lead to an ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) investigation, financial penalties and/or other regulatory action. But what about the commercial consequences? It’s long been a standard observation that data breaches lead to ‘reputational damage’ and ‘loss of customers’. But how serious might this be?

According to Gemalto, 66% of customers are unlikely to do business with an organisation that has allowed their data to be compromised, and 93% of customers would consider taking legal action against an organisation that allowed their data to be breached.

Of course, consumers can be fickle and many won’t put their words into action. However, it’s clear that data breaches can destroy customer confidence. It’s also highly likely that consumers will join a class action lawsuit against an organisation that failed them the moment they’re offered the chance.

And the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) makes class action suits a straightforward option for hungry law firms.

And then there are the fines…