Majority of Internet consumers admit concern over data theft

Survey uncovers that most consumers are oblivious to negative data transfer risks of everyday gadgets

ISACA's IT Risk/Reward Barometer has uncovered that the majority of consumers worry that their information will be stolen with over 88% of internet users admitting their qualms about internet use and information theft.

"Despite their worries, many still conduct risky behaviours such as using the same passwords across multiple accounts and websites or writing down passwords so they can remember them," the report stated.

Increased security threats are perceived as the biggest governance issue at 38%, followed by data privacy at 28%.

The report sought to examine the risks and rewards of key trends, including the Internet of Things, which refers to machines, devices, sensors, cars, cameras and other items that are connected to the Internet and often to each other such as everyday gadgets including GPS systems and smart TV's.

Internet of Things tools have the ability to collect and transmit data through the use of embedded devices or sensors that connect with networks. These devices have the potential to reap numerous rewards, such as greater efficiency and customer satisfaction.

"However, the Internet of Things poses a number of risks as well, such as more entry points for hackers, espionage and theft of intellectual property," said Vladimiro Comodini, President of ISACA Malta Chapter. 

The report uncovered that less one in five surveyed consumers are aware of the term Internet of Things, yet many admitted to using these devices among which include GPS systems, smarty TVs and electronic toll devices on their cars.

IT professionals have said that half of institutions have plans to capitalise on the internet of things while 31% say that their enterprises have already benefited from the increase access to information such tools provide.

 "In today's broadly connected digital world, an increasing number of everyday objects have the ability  "The rapid increase in connectivity, via the Internet of Things, is fundamentally changing the way we live, work, play and behave. What this survey clearly shows is the shift in perception about risk and privacy as the world becomes increasingly connected," said Comodini.  

The research also showed a lack of institutional trust amongst 4000 consumers across the globe. Particularly app makers did not rate highly while employers did not receive a strong vote either. Nevertheless, applicants admitted that they trusted their employees most among institutions surveyed.