Rebuilding Customers’ Trust After a Data Breach


Data breach is an experience no business wants to go through — and yet, it happens to the best of them, both large and small. Mitigating the damage of a data breach is critical, especially when it comes to rebuilding trust among your customers. In fact, how you handle that challenge could determine whether or not you stay in business.

According to the recent Interactions study “Retail’s Reality: Shopping Behavior After Security Breaches”, 44 percent of shoppers surveyed said their personal information had been stolen as part of a security breach. Within that group, 85 percent had told others about their experience, 33.5 percent had used social media to complain about their experience and 20 percent had commented directly on the retailer’s website.

Additionally — and perhaps most worrisome for merchants — 45 percent of shoppers indicated that they do not trust retailers to keep their personal information safe. When shoppers knew that their retailer had experienced a security breach, 12 percent said they had stopped shopping at that retailer, and 36 percent said they would shop there less frequently.

“When shoppers’ information is exposed, not only does it damage the store brand reputation, but it also impacts profitability and productivity throughout the entire organization,” said Giovanni DeMeo, Vice President of Global Marketing and Analytics at Interactions, in a prepared statement. “Whether or not your store has been directly affected by a data disaster, shoppers now perceive retailers differently – and are changing their shopping behaviors because of it.”

The 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis from the Ponemon Institute estimates that it costs U.S. businesses $188 per record lost in a data breach, and that’s before lost productivity and sales are factored into the mix. The importance of having a plan in place to deal with data breach and its fallout is clear.

As Will Pelgrin, president and CEO for the Center for Internet Security, told Business News Daily recently, part of that plan is knowing whom to call for help and being upfront with customers about what has happened. “I am a big believer in it’s not if bad things happen, but how you react when bad things happen,” he said. “That shows the quality of the company and that shows the quality of the individuals that work for that company.”

As a reputable payment processor, TransFirst® should be part of your business’s data breach protection plan. We can help you achieve and maintain compliance with payment card industry regulations that lay out and govern specific security measures that must be followed by businesses that accept credit and debit cards. This is known as PCI compliance.

Then we take it a step further by offering a Data Breach Security Program that helps our merchants meet the expenses associated with a suspected or actual breach of payment card data, regardless of the member business’s PCI compliance status as long as the owner is not involved in the breach. The program covers a forensic audit, meets industry fines and assessments in the event of an unintended breach of confidential customer information, and issuer-related expenses that cover card replacements costs, credit monitoring and other expenses related to a breach.

The complete package — PCI compliance and a data breach security program — from TransFirst can help you anticipate and prepare for a potential data breach and manage the fallout should a breach occur, allowing you to concentrate on dealing with your customers and salvaging your professional reputation.


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