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Research Lab

Surveying American Business Owners on Data Breaches

By Versa Staff
Versa Networks
March 16, 2022

Data breaches are on the rise. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, 1,861 data breaches were reported in 2020, but 2,397 were reported in 2021: that’s an increase of over 28%. But how are companies responding to this? To find out, we surveyed business owners and asked them about the cybersecurity systems and practices they employ at their company, if any. 


We surveyed over 1,200 American business owners over a week in January 2022, asking them questions regarding how worried they are about potential data breaches, how important they feel reliable network security is, if they have experienced a data breach, what security measures they have in place to prevent them, and what effect data breaches have on consumer trust.

American Business Owners’ Thoughts on Data Breaches

Based on Survey Responses from Over 1,200 American Business Owners

According to our survey, 89.9% of business owners think cybersecurity is important, and 63% actually see it as one of the most important parts of running their business. 69% also say the threat of data breaches plays a role in their business decisions.

It should come as no surprise that cybersecurity is viewed as such an important part of running a business when you consider that 16.6% of the business owners we surveyed have experienced a data breach of some kind themselves and an additional 28.1% know someone whose business has experienced one.

Almost half (45.5%) of our survey respondents are currently worried about potential data breaches, with 42% saying their concerns have been directly impacted by the increase in data breaches in the U.S. It looks like there might be a discrepancy between how important business owners think cybersecurity is, and how confident they are in their own systems and practices (or lack thereof). 

Data Breach Protection & Security Measures

Based on Survey Responses from Over 1,200 American Business Owners

72.3% of the business owners we surveyed feel that they have enough protection to prevent a data breach, which is a good number, but that does leave 27.6% that don’t feel they employ adequate network security. Pair this with the 27.5% who say they feel as though they’ve cut corners when it comes to cybersecurity, and it becomes clear that a lot of businesses are skimping out in an area they shouldn’t be. 

Half of our respondents use a third-party IT provider to handle their network security and 67% have made the decision to use 2-step verification for software or apps they use for work. While outsourcing your network security and instituting verification processes can be a good start, it may not be enough to keep your information as safe as it can be. But why wouldn’t business owners institute stronger security measures?

Just over half of business owners that don’t think they employ strong enough cyber security (51.50%) say it’s due to a lack of funds, which sometimes nothing can be done about, but 48.5% gave reasons like, “I haven’t gotten around to it yet,” “I’ve never had security issues before,” or “I don’t think it’s important or necessary.” Just because you’ve never experienced a cybersecurity issue like a data breach before doesn’t mean you never will, and if the current rise in data breach cases that was mentioned earlier doesn’t convince you, perhaps the effect a data breach has on a business’ customers will.  

Network Security & Consumer Trust

Based on Survey Responses from Over 1,200 American Business Owners

Almost three in four business owners (72.5%) believe that trust is a very important part of business-consumer relationships, and 92% believe data breaches make consumers lose trust in a business with 77% saying that a data breach could lead to customers looking elsewhere.

In fact, almost half of business owners (46%) have themselves stopped using a service after it experienced a data breach. If you wouldn’t use a service that is lax with your data, you certainly can’t expect others to.

A business is nothing without its customers, and it’s important that customers feel their personal and financial information is safe with the businesses with whom they choose to work.

Closing Thoughts

So what’s the next step towards cybersecurity peace of mind? Versa Networks provides the most comprehensive SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) framework which includes a next-generation firewall as a service (NGFWaaS), IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems) and IPS (Intrusion Prevention Systems), unified threat management, and more. With no hidden costs, additional products, painful integrations, or unnecessary appliances, Versa SASE is the best solution on the market to manage and secure your company’s remote workforce networking needs. For more information or a free demonstration, visit our website today.