An increased awareness of data security has meant that almost half of UK consumers (49%) now consider the cybersecurity credentials of a company before signing up to its services, according to new research from open source pioneer, SUSE.
The survey also revealed a lack of knowledge and concerns around exactly what customer data is held by companies, with the majority of UK respondents (71%) admitting to being unaware of what kind of data is collected about them. In addition, 62% of consumers worry about how companies use their data.
With both consumer awareness and fears around safeguarding personal data on the rise, almost half of UK respondents (48%) view having control over their data and its use as more important than user experience (23%).
“With cybersecurity credentials making customers consider whether or not to sign up to a brand’s services, it’s never been more important for companies to ensure they are respecting consumer views and habits. Fortunately, rapid advances in technology means that there are now solutions to dispel these consumer worries over data.” said Matt Eckersall, Regional Director, EMEA West at SUSE.
The impact of GDPR so far: a mixed picture
Interestingly, these concerns exist despite the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now being in force for a year. Even though the legislation was designed to give individuals power over their personal information, more than two thirds of UK consumers (69%) confess to still not feeling in control of their data.
However, the GDPR picture in the UK is more positive than that of other European regions, with just 16% of German and 21% of French respondents feeling the legislation has given them control of their data – compared with 31% in the UK.
When it comes to the practicalities of GDPR implementation, over one in ten (11%) UK respondents find themselves feeling frustrated by the legislation as it complicates the way they use a brand’s website, while a further 9% are annoyed by the number of consent emails they receive.
“Data security has always been a priority for storage providers, and GDPR has brought this into sharper focus recently,” said Eckersall. “Security is complex and not something that can be addressed with a single silver bullet. Yet with the correct infrastructure in place, companies can achieve regulatory compliance and ensure customer trust in their brand is not damaged by either cybersecurity concerns or a lack of transparency around data storage and use.”
“As a result of this, many UK organisations are re-evaluating their approach to storage. To become more agile and economically efficient in order to grow, compete and survive, organisations are evaluating software-defined storage (SDS) and in particular open-source SDS. A leader in open-source SDS is Ceph, a highly scalable, resilient distributed object storage system. A unified solution like this that supports object, file and block storage in a single cluster is essential, not only for back-up, archiving, cloud storage and big data, to name a few, but importantly, for compliance and data protection too.”