IBM Study: Consumers' COVID-19 outlook, optimism and preferences vary greatly across generations and geographies

ARMONK, N.Y., Sept. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The August findings of an ongoing IBM (NYSE: IBM) Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey of global consumers reveal that across the globe individuals remain highly concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their daily lives, but there are clear differences in outlook across age groups and countries. The survey of more than 14,500 adults across Brazil, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States showed that due to the pandemic individuals are making marked changes in how they work, shop and live – new habits that may not shift dramatically even once a vaccine becomes available. “Our data tells us that many individuals are looking for more transparency and flexibility from their employers as they navigate this great uncertainty caused by the pandemic,” said Jesus Mantas, senior managing partner, IBM Services. “Organizations need to focus on building trust with their workforce and customers, and agility to deliver solutions that meet them where they are.” Global optimism remains stagnant with concerns divided among generations and countries Consumers globally report high levels of concern about the pandemic and its impact on their lives. The overwhelming majority of global respondents said they believe we will see more pandemic events like this in the future. 69% of Americans surveyed expressed concern about a second wave hitting later in 2020, while in the UK, Mexico, Spain and Brazil, at least three in four respondents expressed similar views. 70% of surveyed Americans said COVID-19 has made them more concerned about the safety and health of themselves and their families, consistent with July. 88% of Brazilians and 54% of Germans surveyed agreed. There is consumer optimism, however, with one-third of responding Americans who believe the U.S. economy will recover in 2021. Compared to other countries, respondents in India and China were the most optimistic about their national economies recovering in 2020.   Globally, the data suggests there is a generation gap. Consumers’ opinions about the impact of the pandemic vary widely across age groups: 69% of millennials (ages 25-39) are concerned about their job security and 60% said the pandemic has taken a toll on their mental health, higher than all other age groups. Baby Boomers (ages 55-70+) are the most pessimistic on economic recovery, with seven in ten reporting they believe their nation’s economy will continue to see an economic downturn or significant recession. Generation Z (ages 18-24) is the most optimistic about the economy, with more than half noting they believe the economy will recover to its pre-COVID-19 state in the next few months. Many employees have high expectations for transparency and flexibility from their employers In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half (52%) of Americans surveyed reported that they trust their employer. At the same time, their expectations about the measures needed to feel comfortable returning to a workplace remained high across August and July. 64% of Americans surveyed said employers need to clearly communicate what is being done to sanitize the workplace (63% in July), and more than half indicated interest in technology-driven solutions like systems for reserving spaces to avoid crowded ‘hot spots’ in the workplace. Some participating consumers seem to be feeling the fatigue of “working from home” feeling more like “living at work.” The percentage of responding Americans indicating they would like to continue to work remotely at least occasionally declined from more than 80% in July to 67% in August, and half said they wanted remote work to be their primary way of working (down 15 points from July). India had the highest percentage (33%) of respondents preferring to exclusively work remotely. Roughly one in three Americans surveyed cited mental health as the number one factor affecting their preference for their future working environment; nearly half of respondents in India and Brazil agreed. Other U.S. findings among those surveyed: Skills: Nearly one in three Americans report taking more online training or education as a result of COVID-19. Back to school: More than half of Americans are worried that sending students back in person will lead to further outbreaks. At the same time, four in ten are concerned that their child(ren) will fall behind in their education if schools do not reopen this year. 47% of feel strongly that their employer should provide special accommodations for childcare needs (41% in July). New patterns for shopping and visiting venues in the U.S. reveal opportunities for businesses to provide options that meet consumers where they are During the pandemic, American consumers have been experimenting with new types of shopping services and tools – even across the technological generation gap. 44% of those surveyed have tried or would like to try placing an order via mobile app (30% pre-pandemic), 46% ordering online with curbside pickup (18% pre-pandemic), and 30% virtually trying on an outfit (9% pre-pandemic). But almost seven in ten Americans surveyed believe a COVID-19 vaccine will not be available until 2021 or later, and even when a vaccine is available, many consumers are not sure if they will be comfortable visiting many types of venues. Only 27% will definitely visit a shopping mall once a vaccine is available, 21% a movie theater and 18% a live sporting event. The IBV has surveyed more than 68,000 consumers since April and plans to continue polling the public in the months ahead. Later this fall, the IBV plans to release a report examining how more than 3,500 C-Suite executives globally are transforming their business to survive and thrive in the new normal across industries such as banking, retail, healthcare and technology. About IBM Institute for Business Value The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) delivers trusted business insights from our position at the intersection of technology and business, combining expertise from industry thinkers, leading academics, and subject matter experts with global research and performance data. The IBV thought leadership portfolio includes research deep dives, benchmarking and performance comparisons, and data visualizations that support business decision making across regions, industries and technologies. Follow @IBMIBV on Twitter, and to receive the latest insights by email, visit: www.ibm.com/ibv. Media ContactLeslie Parkleslie.park@ibm.com 201-230-1418 SOURCE IBM

ARMONK, N.Y., Sept. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The August findings of an ongoing IBM (NYSE: IBMInstitute for Business Value (IBV) survey of global consumers reveal that across the globe individuals remain highly concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their daily lives, but there are clear differences in outlook across age groups and countries.

The survey of more than 14,500 adults across Brazil, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States showed that due to the pandemic individuals are making marked changes in how they work, shop and live – new habits that may not shift dramatically even once a vaccine becomes available.

“Our data tells us that many individuals are looking for more transparency and flexibility from their employers as they navigate this great uncertainty caused by the pandemic,” said Jesus Mantas, senior managing partner, IBM Services. “Organizations need to focus on building trust with their workforce and customers, and agility to deliver solutions that meet them where they are.”

Global optimism remains stagnant with concerns divided among generations and countries

Consumers globally report high levels of concern about the pandemic and its impact on their lives. The overwhelming majority of global respondents said they believe we will see more pandemic events like this in the future. 69% of Americans surveyed expressed concern about a second wave hitting later in 2020, while in the UK, Mexico, Spain and Brazil, at least three in four respondents expressed similar views.

70% of surveyed Americans said COVID-19 has made them more concerned about the safety and health of themselves and their families, consistent with July. 88% of Brazilians and 54% of Germans surveyed agreed.

There is consumer optimism, however, with one-third of responding Americans who believe the U.S. economy will recover in 2021. Compared to other countries, respondents in India and China were the most optimistic about their national economies recovering in 2020.  

Globally, the data suggests there is a generation gap. Consumers’ opinions about the impact of the pandemic vary widely across age groups:

  • 69% of millennials (ages 25-39) are concerned about their job security and 60% said the pandemic has taken a toll on their mental health, higher than all other age groups.
  • Baby Boomers (ages 55-70+) are the most pessimistic on economic recovery, with seven in ten reporting they believe their nation’s economy will continue to see an economic downturn or significant recession.
  • Generation Z (ages 18-24) is the most optimistic about the economy, with more than half noting they believe the economy will recover to its pre-COVID-19 state in the next few months.

Many employees have high expectations for transparency and flexibility from their employers

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half (52%) of Americans surveyed reported that they trust their employer. At the same time, their expectations about the measures needed to feel comfortable returning to a workplace remained high across August and July. 64% of Americans surveyed said employers need to clearly communicate what is being done to sanitize the workplace (63% in July), and more than half indicated interest in technology-driven solutions like systems for reserving spaces to avoid crowded ‘hot spots’ in the workplace.

Some participating consumers seem to be feeling the fatigue of “working from home” feeling more like “living at work.” The percentage of responding Americans indicating they would like to continue to work remotely at least occasionally declined from more than 80% in July to 67% in August, and half said they wanted remote work to be their primary way of working (down 15 points from July). India had the highest percentage (33%) of respondents preferring to exclusively work remotely.

Roughly one in three Americans surveyed cited mental health as the number one factor affecting their preference for their future working environment; nearly half of respondents in India and Brazil agreed.

Other U.S. findings among those surveyed:

  • Skills: Nearly one in three Americans report taking more online training or education as a result of COVID-19.
  • Back to school: More than half of Americans are worried that sending students back in person will lead to further outbreaks. At the same time, four in ten are concerned that their child(ren) will fall behind in their education if schools do not reopen this year. 47% of feel strongly that their employer should provide special accommodations for childcare needs (41% in July).

New patterns for shopping and visiting venues in the U.S. reveal opportunities for businesses to provide options that meet consumers where they are

During the pandemic, American consumers have been experimenting with new types of shopping services and tools – even across the technological generation gap. 44% of those surveyed have tried or would like to try placing an order via mobile app (30% pre-pandemic), 46% ordering online with curbside pickup (18% pre-pandemic), and 30% virtually trying on an outfit (9% pre-pandemic).

But almost seven in ten Americans surveyed believe a COVID-19 vaccine will not be available until 2021 or later, and even when a vaccine is available, many consumers are not sure if they will be comfortable visiting many types of venues. Only 27% will definitely visit a shopping mall once a vaccine is available, 21% a movie theater and 18% a live sporting event.

The IBV has surveyed more than 68,000 consumers since April and plans to continue polling the public in the months ahead. Later this fall, the IBV plans to release a report examining how more than 3,500 C-Suite executives globally are transforming their business to survive and thrive in the new normal across industries such as banking, retail, healthcare and technology.

About IBM Institute for Business Value 
The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) delivers trusted business insights from our position at the intersection of technology and business, combining expertise from industry thinkers, leading academics, and subject matter experts with global research and performance data. The IBV thought leadership portfolio includes research deep dives, benchmarking and performance comparisons, and data visualizations that support business decision making across regions, industries and technologies. Follow @IBMIBV on Twitter, and to receive the latest insights by email, visit: www.ibm.com/ibv.

Media Contact
Leslie Park
leslie.park@ibm.com 
201-230-1418

SOURCE IBM

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IBM Report: Compromised Employee Accounts Led to Most Expensive Data Breaches Over Past Year

Customer Personal Data Exposed in 80% of Breaches Analyzed; AI and Automation Significantly Reduce Costs CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM Security (NYSE: IBM) announced today the results of a global study examining the financial impact of data breaches, revealing that these incidents cost companies studied $3.86 million per breach on average, and that compromised employee accounts were the most expensive root cause. Based on in-depth analysis of data breaches experienced by over 500 organizations worldwide, 80% of these incidents resulted in the exposure of customers' personally identifiable information (PII). Out of all types of data exposed in these breaches, customer PII was also the costliest to businesses studied. As companies are increasingly accessing sensitive data via new remote work and cloud-based business operations, the report sheds light on the financial losses that organizations can suffer if this data is compromised. A separate IBM study found that over half of surveyed employees new to working from home due to the pandemic have not been provided with new guidelines on how to handle customer PII, despite the changing risk models associated with this shift. Sponsored by IBM Security and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report is based on in-depth interviews with more than 3,200 security professional in organizations that suffered a data breach over the past year.1 Some of the top findings from this year's report include: Smart Tech Slashes Breach Costs in Half: Companies studied who had fully deployed security automation technologies (which leverage AI, analytics and automated orchestration to identify and respond to security events) experienced less than half the data breach costs compared to those who didn't have these tools deployed – $2.45 million vs. $6.03 million on average. Paying a Premium for Compromised Credentials: In incidents where attackers accessed corporate networks through the use of stolen or compromised credentials, studied businesses saw nearly $1 million higher data breach costs compared to the global average – reaching $4.77 million per data breach. Exploiting third-party vulnerabilities was the second costliest root cause of malicious breaches ($4.5 million) for this group.    Mega Breach2 Costs Soar by the Millions: Breaches wherein over 50 million records were compromised saw costs jump to $392 million from $388 million the previous year. Breaches where 40 to 50 million records were exposed cost studied companies $364 million on average, a cost increase of $19 million compared to the 2019 report. Nation State Attacks – The Most Damaging Breaches: Data breaches believed to originate from nation state attacks were the costliest, compared to other threat actors examined in the report. State-sponsored attacks averaged $4.43 million in data breach costs, surpassing both financially motivated cybercriminals and hacktivists. "When it comes to businesses' ability to mitigate the impact of a data breach, we're beginning to see a clear advantage held by companies that have invested in automated technologies," said Wendi Whitmore, Vice President, IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence. "At a time when businesses are expanding their digital footprint at an accelerated pace and the security industry's talent shortage persists, teams can be overwhelmed securing more devices, systems and data. Security automation can help resolve this burden, not only supporting a faster breach response but a more cost-efficient one as well." Employee Credentials and Misconfigured Clouds ­– Attackers' Entry Point of Choice Stolen or compromised credentials and cloud misconfigurations were the most common causes of a malicious breach for companies in the report, representing nearly 40% of malicious incidents. With over 8.5 billion records exposed in 2019, and attackers using previously exposed emails and passwords in one out of five breaches studied, businesses should rethink their security strategy via the adoption of a zero-trust approach – reexamining how they authenticate users and the extent of access users are granted. Similarly, companies' struggle with security complexity – a top breach cost factor – is likely contributing to cloud misconfigurations becoming a growing security challenge. The 2020 report revealed that attackers used cloud misconfigurations to breach networks nearly 20% of the time, increasing breach costs by more than half a million dollars to $4.41 million on average – making it the third most expensive initial infection vector examined in the report. State Sponsored Attacks Strike HeaviestDespite representing just 13% of malicious breaches studied, state-sponsored threat actors were the most damaging type of adversary according to the 2020 report, suggesting that financially motivated attacks (53%) don't necessarily translate into higher financial losses for businesses. The highly tactical nature, longevity and stealth maneuvers of state-backed attacks, as well as the high value data targeted, often result in a more extensive compromise of victim environments, increasing breach costs to an average of $4.43 million. In fact, the respondents in the Middle East, a region that historically experiences a higher proportion of state-sponsored attacks compared to other parts of the world3, saw over 9% yearly rise in their average breach cost, incurring the second highest average breach cost ($6.52 million) amongst the 17 regions studied. Similarly, businesses studied in the energy sector, one of the most frequently targeted industries by nation states, experienced a 14% increase in breach costs year over year, averaging $6.39 million. Advanced Security Technologies Prove Smart for Business The report highlights the growing divide in breach costs between businesses implementing advanced security technologies and those lagging behind, revealing a cost-saving difference of $3.58 million for studied companies with fully deployed security automation versus those that have yet to deploy this type of technology. The cost gap has grown by $2 million, from a difference of $1.55 million in 2018. Companies in the study with fully deployed security automation also reported a significantly shorter response time to breaches, another key factor shown to reduce breach costs in the analysis. The report found that AI, machine learning, analytics and other forms of security automation enabled companies to respond to breaches over 27% faster on average, than companies that have yet to deploy security automation – the latter of which require on average 74 additional days to identify and contain a breach. Incident response (IR) preparedness also continues to heavily influence the financial aftermath of a breach. According to the report, companies with neither an IR team nor testing of IR plans experience $5.29 million in average breach costs, whereas companies that have both an IR team and use tabletop exercises or simulations to test IR plans experience $2 million less in breach costs – reaffirming that preparedness and readiness yield a significant ROI in cybersecurity. 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In fact, of these organizations that used their cyber insurance, 51% applied it to cover third-party consulting fees and legal services, while 36% of organizations used it for victim restitution costs. Only 10% used claims to cover the cost of ransomware or extortion. Regional & Industry Insights: While studied companies in the U.S. continued to experience the highest data breach costs in the world, at $8.64 million on average, those studied in Scandinavia experienced the biggest year over year increase in breach costs, observing a nearly 13% rise. Responding healthcare companies continued to incur the highest average breach costs at $7.13 million — an over 10% increase compared to the 2019 study. About the StudyThe annual Cost of a Data Breach Report is based on in-depth analysis of real-world data breaches experienced by over 500 organizations worldwide taking place between August 2019 and April 2020, taking into account hundreds of cost factors including legal, regulatory and technical activities to loss of brand equity, customers, and employee productivity. To download a copy of the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report, please visit: ibm.com/databreach Sign up for the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report webinar on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. ET here: https://ibm.biz/BdqhMf About IBM SecurityIBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM X-Force® research, enables organizations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats. IBM operates one of the world's broadest security research, development and delivery organizations, monitors 70 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries, and has been granted more than 10,000 security patents worldwide. For more information, please check www.ibm.com/security, follow @IBMSecurity on Twitter or visit the IBM Security Intelligence blog. 1 Report analyzes data breaches occurring between August 2019 and April 2020. Limitations of the report's methodology can be found in the report.2 The 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report examines the cost of a mega breach, namely breaches involving the loss or theft of one million records or more, based on a separate analysis of a specific sample.3 According to the IBM 2020 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index: https://ibm.biz/downloadxforcethreatindex Press Contact:IBM Security Media RelationsGeorgia Prassinosgprassinos@ibm.com (571) 365-6065 SOURCE IBM