[USA] New research from Utimaco uncovers vast regional disparities in consumer trust in digital security

  • Today’s societies are increasingly digitally connected, with 66% of the world’s populations owning mobile devices and 38% of respondents using smart devices.
  • However, 36% of respondents have been the victim of data loss, identity theft or digital fraud.
  • The new edition of the ‘Circles of Trust’ series, a new whitepaper from cybersecurity experts Utimaco, finds significant differences across regions when it comes to trust of their digital safety.

Aachen, Germany, 10 July 2023 - Utimaco, a leading global provider of IT security solutions that is celebrating its 40th year pioneering trusted cybersecurity and compliance solutions and services to customers across the globe, has released a new whitepaper, ‘Circles of Trust 2023: Exploring Consumer Trust in the Digital Society’, that takes a deep look at how consumers view trust in an increasingly digital world.

Just decades ago, the internet was something that could only be accessed from large, immobile personal computers. Today it is everywhere. Digital connections aren’t just in the mobile devices owned by 66% of the world’s population – they’re in streets, vehicles, traffic systems and in dozens of places throughout our homes. Consumers don’t just need to trust that their bank is keeping their money and data safe – they need to trust that there are not privacy vulnerabilities in their lightbulbs.

In light of this Utimaco released its first edition in the Circles of Trust survey series in 2022 focused on a sample of the United Kingdom (UK), Spain and Germany, covering key sectors of automotive cybersecurity to the public and the health sector to uncover consumer perceptions about the digital services that they use every day. The research found a central contradiction of digital life: consumers were very enthusiastic about digital offerings, from connected vehicles to digital health services, but they were equally wary of security risks around these digital services.

This year’s research found these central contradictions remain, but by expanding the geographic scope to the United States of America (US), Mexico and Singapore, Utimaco has deepened its understanding of trust in digital life. The new consumer research studied and focused on banking, the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities and found the following key takeaways from across the world:

  • Only 19% of respondents don’t worry about the security of their data.
  • 36% of respondents have been the victim of data loss, identity theft or digital fraud.
  • 41% of respondents believe that a connected world would make their everyday lives easier.

In the US, respondents reported the highest levels of digital fraud from all sources, including banking and payments, Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Cities. And although few could define the term “Internet of Things” (29%), when asked if they used “smart devices” 40% responded Yes, showing that how we define digital technology matters. When asked if they have ever been a victim of data loss, identity theft or hacks related to a smart home device, 41% of US respondents said Yes. This data shows that additional work must be done to build awareness around the meaning of IoT and how consumers can secure their IoT devices.

Further, in the case of the US, this might be down to the type of devices used combined with a generally higher level of cybersecurity risk. Americans are more likely than respondents from other countries to use digital entry systems and security systems like the Ring Doorbell, and these are likely to yield more value to criminals than the data in smart televisions and virtual assistants.

In the area of trust in banking and financial institutions, US respondents showed more encouraging signs. When asked “do you trust your main financial institutions (banks, credit card providers) to keep your money and data secure from digital theft? 70% have some trust or full trust in them.

“We pride ourselves on driving the conversation around digital trust forward. At Utimaco, we see our role as being not just about creating hardware and software that provides the ‘root of trust in a digital world’, but also communicating to our customers about the social context of that technology. In short, all the security systems in the world will be more effective if end users know and trust that they are effective,” says Stefan Auerbach, CEO, Utimaco. “We see the ‘Circles of Trust’ series of research as a vital tool to temperature test digital trust around the world, and an invaluable resource for any company working internationally.”

The 2023 edition of the ‘Circles of Trust’ is released in the same year that Utimaco is celebrating its 40th year pioneering trusted cybersecurity and compliance solutions and services to its enterprise and government customers across the globe.

To download your copy of ‘Circles of Trust 2023: Exploring Consumer Trust in the Digital Society’, please visit: https://utimaco.com/survey-how-trust-works-digital-world




Press Contact

Alma Fisher

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