Security breaches a threat to client retention, warns Unisys

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Internet users in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico show a marked trend of taking some kind of action after learning their personal information has been accessed by an unauthorized person, US IT company Unisys' (NYSE: UIS) VP and general manager for Latin America, Yolanda Auza, told BNamericas.

"The reaction of closing their accounts [or to stop dealing with that organization] is high, which is an alert for companies. [It's a call to] be careful with people's information because breaching or enabling the breach of personal data would see them losing clients," the executive said, based on the results of the Unisys Security Index.

People who said they would close their accounts with an organization if confronted by a breach totaled 84% in Mexico, followed by 79% in Brazil and 73% in Colombia.

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In addition, more than 60% of respondents in Colombia and Mexico said they would publicly expose the issue, which "can cause great damage, because it is word of mouth," Auza added.

Latin American markets also showed the highest number of respondents who said they would take legal action. Brazil led in Latin America and globally with 86%, followed in the region by Mexico (61%) and Colombia (60%).

"This is an alert for companies to understand how sensitive the information is that we're constantly providing. And not only the information we provide when we register in a website, but also the information obtained from monitoring transactions, about the behavior [of the client]," Auza said.

Virtually all respondents said they would at least change their passwords if they found out about a security breach in information held by an organization.

In Colombia, 92% said they would change their password, a figure that places the country in a leading position both in Latin America and globally. Regionally, Brazil follows with 90% and Mexico with 86%.

The Unisys Security Index polled 11,524 consumers in 12 countries around the world. In Latin America, the survey included Brazil with 1,500 respondents, Mexico with 1,000 and Colombia, also with 1,000.