The Currency of Trust: Why Banks and Insurers Must Make Customer Data Safer and More Secure

| Point of View
Are banks and insurers a safe pair of hands when it comes to customer data? Our global survey of more than 180 senior data privacy and security professionals – as well as 7,600 consumers – found that less than a third (29%) of these organizations offer both strong data privacy practices and a sound security strategy. Just one in five (21%) are highly confident that they can detect a cybersecurity breach. 
 
This picture has so far not unduly affected consumers’ perceptions of the industry. We found that 83% of consumers trust banks and insurers when it comes to data. And while one in four institutions have reported being victim of a hack, just 3% of consumers believe their own bank or insurer has ever been breached. However, with the pending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations, this trust factor is likely to change as transparency increases. Financial organizations have to reveal a data breach 72 hours after the incident. 
 
Banks and insurance firms have a clear incentive therefore to fortify their defences. As well as avoiding the prohibitive fines and penalties that will result from compromised data, protecting privacy offers a strategic business advantage. Addressing security concerns will drive greater adoption of low-cost digital channels. We found that security concerns deter nearly half of consumers (47%) from using digital channels. It will also reduce churn and attract competitors’ customers – 74% of consumers would switch their bank or insurer in the event of a data breach. 
 
Preparing to be a trusted data steward is no easy task, however. It means raising the bar on multiple dimensions:
 
  • Aligning data practices with consumers’ expectations
  • Finding innovative ways of providing non-intrusive security to consumers
  • Building the capabilities required to monitor cyber risks on a real-time basis
  • Revisiting the data governance model. 
 
Building your reputation for data privacy and robust security is definitely challenging. But, those who strike the right chord with consumers will enjoy a competitive advantage over their peers. The winners will be those who triumph in the trust game.