Data Breaches—Who is to Blame?

With the ongoing news coverage of major security breaches, consumers are being reminded that cardholder data isn’t as secure as it should be. For merchants and issuers, this poses questions about how this is affecting U.S. consumer behavior. How aware are consumers about these data breaches? More importantly, who are they putting at fault?

A recent survey of 1,000 consumers conducted by TSYS showed interesting information about who consumers find responsible for the breach—whether it be the merchant or the issuers and card networks. Here are a few key takeaways from the survey:

Who is aware of recent data breaches?
83 percent of the survey’s respondents said they were aware of the recent breaches and 75 percent said they learned about them through media coverage.

Who are consumers holding responsible for the breaches?
About 64 percent of consumers said they hold the merchants responsible for the breaches, while 28 percent said the banks and card networks are at fault. Additionally, 67 percent said they expected their banks and card networks to notify them when incidents like this occur. But in regards to making up for the damage and making things right, 61 percent said it is up to the banks and card networks.

How are consumers responding to the recent breaches?
Of the respondents, 88 percent said consumers should play a role in protecting themselves against a security breach. About 31 percent said they’d be willing to pay for additional security. Additionally, 63 percent of respondents said they’d switch banks to one that offered better security features, and 71 percent said they would switch banks to one that guaranteed all losses would be reimbursed.