Almost one in four Australians (39%) say their faith in the willingness of digital service providers to keep personal data secure and private has decreased in the past five years, while 36% remained the same and 14% increased, a new report from comprehensive digital security leader, Imperva has found. 

More than one-quarter (28%) say they don’t trust any industry listed to adequately protect their data. Among different generations, people aged 45 to 54 have the most mistrust of organisations (34%), while 18-24 year olds are more trusting (22%).

There are serious consequences for organisations that fail to secure their consumers’ data. Half (51%) of Australian respondents have stopped, or would stop, using a company’s services following a serious data breach.

Organisations face a complete breakdown of trust unless they begin rebuilding now, according to Imperva area vice president for Australia and New Zealand, Tony Mascarenhas.

“While organisations rush to introduce more digital innovations, it is vital they don’t overlook the potential security risks these new technologies create. Data breaches can have a real and lasting impact – from downtime and fines to loss of revenue and damaged brand reputation. Prevention is always going to be better than the cure, which is why data-centric security must be part of every organisation’s strategy in 2022.”

Even industries that handle the most valuable and sensitive data are not trusted. Only 43% trust Financial Services, and 37% trust Healthcare and Government. There is almost no trust for Messaging Services, Social Media, Media and Streaming Services, Online Gaming, and Retail (all scoring 10% or below).

The research also highlighted a generation gap when it comes to trusting specific industries with personal data. Older generations (45+) place more trust in highly regulated industries than younger generations (18-35). On the other hand, young Aussies are more likely to trust those digital-first brands (Messaging Services, Social Media and Streaming Services), when compared to older consumers.