A study through mid-sized companies and individual users shows that many are confused and do not trust anyone when it comes to the privacy and security of their online data. Kaspersky Lab’s research, which covered six countries in Europe and North America, showed people were afraid that hackers, their own and foreigner governments, employers, and even friends and family would be able to access their online data.
The independent study, commissioned by Kaspersky Lab and conducted by Applied Marketing Research, had a sample of 600 mid-size IT security companies as well as 6,000 individual users with security solutions installed on their devices, equal from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the USA.
The main intruders were, by no means surprising, considered cybercriminals – 45 percent of companies and 47 percent of individual users are concerned about protecting their malware attacks. This is closely followed by the desire to protect their own government (36 percent and 33 percent, respectively) and governments and foreign companies (30 percent and 26 percent).
These concerns have expanded into cybersecurity, with a generalized confusion about the information that solution providers can access. Many respondents fear that their security provider might collect their online data, opinions, location, and Internet browsing habits, and then transmit this information to foreign entities. However, the vast majority (87 percent of companies and 82 percent of individuals) are confident that their security provider behaves ethically in terms of collecting and using their data.
The results suggest that the current context of cyber security has created for both companies and individual users an environment of fear, uncertainty and doubt that has prompted many to stop trusting anyone in the online environment.
“The results give us new evidence that technologies and software are a black box for many companies,” says Anton Shingarev, VP of Public Affairs, Kaspersky Lab. “They do not know how they work, what is inside them, what data are collected and how they are stored. Therefore, they do not trust suppliers. I think this is an unacceptable situation and, as an industry, we have to make sure that people understand exactly what we do and what would never do a security provider. This should be doubled by permanent actions that increase the reliability, flexibility and security of our products and demonstrate their transparency. As far as we are concerned, they are all integrated into our Global Transparency Initiative, a program designed to rebuild trust in information security.”