University Professors Analyze Customer Reactions to Data Breach Incidents

In the wake of revelations about data breach among major companies, professors in different business disciplines at the Birmingham University in New York, took time to analyze how consumers react to this type of untoward occurrences. The most recent being the Capital One Bank, which became aware of the data breach only after a concerned individual alerted the bank.

 

The hacker who goes by the name of Paige A. Thompson bragged about her Capital One hacking activities at GitHub. GitHub is a web-based platform where web developers meet to exchange ideas and suggestions on how to make better codes for their project.

The thing is, the hacker was apparently advertising herself and her skills, by providing details on how she was able to extract more than 700 data folders stored in the cloud server of the Amazon Web Service for Capital One, from March 12-17, 2019. Thompson, even included the IP address of the specific server in which Capital One’s sensitive data were stored.

A Separate Birmingham University Study Analyzed Customer Reactions to Data Breach Incidents

Distinguished Marketing Professor at B.U. School of Management, Professor Subimal Chatterjee, reported that consumers are likely imagining worst-case scenario once they learn about large-scale data breaches.

They tend to look for answers to questions about the safety of their credit card information, causing them worries that their personal info may be used for entering into unauthorized transactions. According to Chatterjee, the degree of fear felt by consumers determines decisions they make, whether they intend to purchase or transact with the company again.

Professor Chatter collaborated with other Birmingham University professors; with Cihan Uzmanoglu, assistant professor of Finance, with Sumantra Sarkar, assistant professor of Management Information Systems, and with Xiang Gao, a Binghamton University PhD graduate currently working at Minnesota State University’s Paseka School of Business.

The professors categorized some as fearful customers, This being the group who were more interested in finding out if the data breaching incident affected 100 customers, or if as many as 10 million customer information were hacked. Naturally, the larger the scope and size, the greater the fear created.

In comparison, the academicians noted that some customers were merely angry, to which their anger was focused on the perpetrator rather than on factors that indicate the robustness or weakness of the system or infrastructure.

The significance of their analysis about customer reactions to data breach is that the stock market reacts to how consumers react to such incidents. According to the professors, fear of the scope of data breach makes the stock market sensitive to the conditions. On the other hand, angry consumer reactions make the stock market less, or not at all sensitive to the scope of the data breach.