A quarter of companies fear major security breaches could cost customers their lives.
A survey of 300 attendees at the Infosecurity Europe show by AlienVault found that a quarter believe that if their sites go down or they suffer a major security breach, it could be fatal.
Barmak Meftah, CEO and president of AlienVault, said: “We know that if a government site or a national critical infrastructure is hacked it will cost lives, but it's the impact for private companies that is all too often ignored.
“If a commercial enterprise holds personal information about people's private lives, it could prove critical, even a matter of life or death. For example, recently a dating site was attacked and the implications to its members are potentially huge. The risk of individuals becoming victims to stalking, if that was the intention of the hacker in this case, is just one illustration, but the severity is ultimately dependant on who is behind the attack.”
The research also found that when asked who they most feared would violate their privacy, 40 per cent of respondents said that China worried them the most, with the US and Russia tied at 13 per cent and the UK government at 12 per cent.
However, 71 per cent felt that insiders posed the biggest threat to their data, outweighing hackers (28 per cent), consultants and other third parties (seven per cent).