People aren't feeling good about their data

by Black Hat Middle East and Africa
People aren't feeling good about their data

Welcome to the new 78 cyber warriors who joined us last week. 🥳 Each week, we'll be sharing insights from the Black Hat MEA community. Read exclusive interviews with industry experts and key findings from the #BHMEA23 keynote stage.

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This week we’re focused on…📣

How internet users are feeling about privacy, security, and their data. 


This week on the blog, we wrote about a panel discussion at Black Hat MEA 2022 about data, privacy, and governance. 

And we also looked at this 2023 research by Deloitte, which assesses internet users’ feelings about security on their connected devices – including smartphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, smart home technology, and more. 

The survey found that:🔎

  • Digital users are increasingly worried about being ‘hacked and tracked’ via their devices.
  • Almost six in 10 people are concerned that their devices are vulnerable to breaches from malicious threat actors (and interestingly, the same number are worried that organisations or people could track them through their devices).
  • Among smartphone users, 67% are worried about data security and privacy on their phones (up 13% from 2022).
  • 62% of smart home tech users are concerned about security and privacy on their smart home devices (up 10% from 2022).
  • 52% of smart home users expressed concern that hackers could control their smart home devices – for example, breaking into smart locks.
  • 48% of smartwatch and fitness tracker users are worried about the security and privacy of those devices (up 8% from 2022). 

These concerns are connected to a bigger picture: the threat landscape ⚠️

People aren’t just getting more paranoid. In the cybersecurity industry, we’re all too aware of the reality that the threat landscape is growing, and cybercriminal groups are developing new ways to generate profit through data breaches. 

There have been over 4.5 billion publicly disclosed security incidents in 2023. 

One third of the Deloitte survey respondents said they’d been targeted in at least one type of scam or breach over the past year, and 16% became victims to two or more kinds. 

The likelihood of a breach increases when households have more devices: of households with 1-15 devices, 11% reported two or more breaches in the past year; compared with 16% of households with 16-30 devices, and 29% of households with more than 30 devices. 

Have your customers expressed growing concerns about personal data privacy?

1. Yes, I’ve noticed this vote

2. No – I haven’t noticed a significant change vote

Why aren’t more users doubling down on privacy protection measures? 

Three quarters of the survey respondents admitted they should do more to protect their own data. But they shared a sense of helplessness: 

  • 25% said they feel companies can track them regardless of what they do.
  • 17% feel there are no actions they could take that would actually prevent hackers from accessing their data.
  • One quarter just don’t know what to do to protect themselves. 

And a significant 18% felt that cost was a barrier to accessing protection – reporting that they don’t want to pay for privacy software or services. 

It looks bleak. But this is cybersecurity’s job. 🛡️

People aren’t feeling good about their data. 

But that’s what this industry is here for. And surveys like this serve to remind us of the purpose of information security work: it’s about protecting people through day-to-day security support and a continued movement towards better governance. 

Do you have an idea for a topic you'd like us to cover? We're eager to hear it! Drop us a message and share your thoughts. Our next newsletter is scheduled for 1 November 2023.

Catch you next week,
Steve Durning
Exhibition Director

P.S. - Mark your calendars for the return of Black Hat MEA from 📅 14 - 16 November 2023. Want to be a part of the action?

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