Americans Rank Retailers and Government Lowest for Securely Handling Their Personal Data, Unisys Survey Shows
Banks, healthcare organizations rank highest in consumer security confidence
Americans have lowest level of overall concern about likely security breaches among 12 countries surveyed
BLUE BELL, Pa., June 30, 2015 – Against a backdrop of escalating cybersecurity attacks against public and private sector organizations in the U.S., a large percentage of Americans believe that a breach of their personal data held by a retailer or a government agency is likely within the next year, according to the 2015 Unisys Security Insights survey released today by Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) in partnership with Lieberman Research Group.
The Unisys Security Insights survey asked consumers in 12 countries about the likelihood that their personal data held by seven types of organizations (airlines, banking/finance, government, healthcare, retail, telecom, and utilities) would be accessed by an unauthorized person within the next year.
When asked about the likelihood that their personal data held by a retailer would be accessed by an unauthorized person within the next year, 44 percent of U.S. respondents said they believed a breach was likely – with only 19 percent saying it was unlikely.
Asked the same question about personal data held by government agencies, 39 percent said a breach was likely, and 29 percent said it was unlikely. For telecommunications companies, 35 percent said a breach was likely, with 25 percent stating it was unlikely.
Unisys security experts said that several recent, highly-publicized cyberattacks have increased concern among consumers about the safety of their personal data held by various organizations – especially those in the retail sector where breaches have hit consumers most directly. The survey results may also reflect concerns about the country's general readiness to combat cyber threats, Unisys experts said.
"Organizations that hold consumers' personal data have a major challenge maintaining public confidence that they safely protect private information," said Dave Frymier, vice president and chief information security officer, Unisys. "While hackers will always find their way into an organization's network, enterprises can protect high-value data through basic precautions like patching and sharing threat intelligence as well as using advanced security technologies like micro-segmentation."
On a more positive note, U.S. respondents conveyed higher confidence in the ability of banks and healthcare organizations to protect personal data. Only 24 percent of respondents said a breach of their personal data held by a bank was likely in the next year, with 44 percent saying such a breach was unlikely. For healthcare organizations, only 28 percent said a breach was likely, and 41 percent thought it unlikely.
U.S. respondents had the lowest overall level of concern about likely security breaches among the 12 countries surveyed. For example, nearly twice the percentage of respondents in the Netherlands and Germany thought a breach of their personal data was likely than their counterparts in the U.S. (See results from U.S. respondents in the table below.)
Table 1: For each of the following types of organizations that collect your personal information, how likely do you think it is that your personal information will be accessed by an unauthorized person either accidentally or deliberately within the next 12 months?
| Vertical||% who said a breach is likely||% who said a breach is unlikely||% who said this type of org. doesn't hold their personal data||% who "don't know"|
Table 2: Consumers' views by country on the likelihood of a breach of their personal information the next 12 months (mean)
% who said a breach|
is likely (mean)
% who said a breach|
is likely (mean)
The U.S. Security Insights survey is based on an online survey of 1,016 persons aged 18 and over, April 17-19, 2015. The data from this study are weighted according to the most recent estimates published by the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure projectability of the data to U.S. adults.
About Unisys Security Insights
The Unisys Security Insights survey is a global study that provides insights into the attitudes of consumers on a range of security related issues. Lieberman Research Group conducted the survey in Latin America, Europe, Malaysia and the U.S.; Newspoll conducted the research in Australia and New Zealand. The Unisys Security Insights surveyed nearly 11,000 people in 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. For more information, visit www.unisys.com/securityinsights.
Unisys is a global information technology company that solves organizations' most pressing IT and business challenges. With more than 20,000 employees serving clients around the world, our offerings include cloud and infrastructure services, application services, business process outsourcing services, and high-end server technology. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.
RELEASE NO.: 0630/9342
Unisys and other Unisys products and services mentioned herein, as well as their respective logos, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Unisys Corporation. Any other brand or product referenced herein is acknowledged to be a trademark or registered trademark of its respective holder.