May 26, 2023 - Technology

Finance, retail sectors reap data privacy wins in Harris Poll

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Major investments from the finance and retail sectors in cybersecurity and data privacy have seemingly paid off with consumers, based on the 2023 Axios Harris Poll 100 brand reputation survey.

Why it matters: Both the financial and retail sectors — as well as Apple — have poured large amounts of cash into their security programs and presenting themselves as the safest place for consumers to store their most sensitive data.

  • Those investments seem to be working, despite high-profile incidents in the last few years involving some of the top-ranking companies.

Driving the news: JPMorgan Chase & Co., Apple and PayPal topped the list of companies that consumers said protect customers' personal information and data "well."

  • 61% said JPMorgan protected data "well," while 59% said the same of Apple and 58% of PayPal.
  • Military-focused financial services company USAA (57%), Amazon (56%) and American Express (56%) followed close behind.
  • The Axios Harris Poll surveyed more than 16,000 people between March 13 and March 28.

The big picture: Each of these sectors and companies has faced major cyber and data privacy incidents in the last decade that have made privacy a selling point with their consumers.

Between the lines: Each of these sectors also remains a top target for both criminal and nation-state cyberattacks, making these security investments necessary.

Yes, but: The Axios Harris Poll results don't automatically mean that these companies are perfect beacons of data privacy and protection.

The intrigue: The financial sector in particular has some of the most robust security regulations in the U.S.

Be smart: It's impossible for any company to be 100% safe from cyberattacks, considering the speed at which criminal hackers adapt their tricks and the rate at which new security flaws are discovered.

  • However, consumers can still do their due diligence to limit what they share with companies and turn on advanced account security features like multifactor authentication.

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