Why companies should offer post-breach monitoring services

Published: August 4, 2017 by Michael Bruemmer

When a cybersecurity incident occurs, will your organization’s data breach response contribute to customer retention or undermine it? Multiple studies and surveys illustrate that how well a company supports consumers in the wake of a security event directly affects customers’ perceptions of and loyalty to the breached company.

Consumers expect companies to help them manage the potential and real fallout of a data breach. Failing to do so can increase post-breach churn, whereas successfully helping consumers can equate to greater retention. In particular, offering monitoring services to customers affected by a cybersecurity incident could make the difference between retaining those customers and their good will, or losing them to the competition.

Consumer impact

Research by Experian Data Breach Resolution and our partners reveals how data breaches affect consumers:

  • 76 percent of consumers who’ve experienced a data breach cite stress as the primary consequence.
  • 39 percent cite the time they had to spend resolving problems caused by the breach as the worst consequence.
  • Nearly half of those affected by a data breach feel it will put their identities at risk for years to come.
  • Consumers want companies to step up after a breach and provide identity theft protection (63 percent), credit monitoring (58 percent) and even compensation in the form of cash, products or services (67 percent).

Four out of every five consumers who received a data breach notification continued to do business with the company through which their information was compromised, but they didn’t necessarily stay because they were satisfied. Just 45 percent of consumers say they continued doing business with the company because they were happy with the way the company resolved the data breach. Instead, 67 percent said they stayed because going elsewhere was just too difficult, and 61 percent thought moving their business wouldn’t give them access to any greater security since data breaches are unavoidable.

If you provide it …

Even more compelling for the case in favor of offering post-breach monitoring services to affected consumers is this statistic from our research: Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of breached consumers take action after being notified of a breach, including updating their anti-virus software and reviewing online account activity or security policies. Twenty-nine percent accepted offers of free identity protection services.

Consumers are increasingly aware that being caught up in a data breach can increase their risk of experiencing identity theft, either immediately following the event or in the future. They are willing to take steps to protect themselves, and they want breached companies to help them.

Providing post-breach monitoring services can help protect consumers from the possibility of identity theft related to the breach, and help protect companies from the loss of business that can result when customers feel the organization hasn’t done enough to aid them.