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Consumer trust in a brand can be lost with one cyberattack, new research finds

According to new research by Mimecast, 75% of South African consumers will stop buying from a brand if they get tricked by cybercriminals, with 93% of consumers expecting their favourite brands to ensure their services, such as websites, emails and other communication, are safe to use.
Source: Unsplash

Heino Gevers, a cybersecurity expert at Mimecast, explains: "South Africans have high levels of trust in the brands they support - 69% don't hesitate to open an email from brands they use regularly, and 56% click on links from their favourite brands. However, with all cyberattack types showing significant increases since the start of the pandemic, consumers are under constant threat of falling victim to cybercrime. This could have dire consequences for brands: our research found that South Africans are the least forgiving of all nations surveyed if the brands they support fail to protect them online."

"Consumers are under constant attack from cybercriminals, who regularly imitate trusted brands to trick people into risky behaviour," explains Gevers. "Nearly half (46%) of South African consumers in our latest survey said they receive a phishing email at least once per week, while 78% had landed on a spoofed website after clicking on a link on social media."

The findings come at a time when cybercriminals are imitating famous brands with worrying ease. In Mimecast's State of Email Security 2021 report, 94% of South African companies admitted to being concerned about counterfeit websites misappropriating their brands.

Other key findings from Mimecast's Brand Trust research include:

  • 94% of South Africans surveyed would stop buying from a brand if they get tricked by cybercriminals;
  • 88% agreed that it is the brand's responsibility to protect itself from email impersonation;
  • 89% agreed that is the brand's responsibility to protect itself from fake versions of its website;
  • Two-thirds of South Africans surveyed had received a phishing email forwarded from a friend or family member, indicating a need for greater cybersecurity awareness.

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