The WannaCry cyberattack that swept across the globe earlier in May, exploited a bug in unpatched Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) operating systems and it’s time to assess whether it caused a dent in the company’s reputation.
According to a new survey by Morning Consult, 57% of 2,148 adults polled said they were concerned about using Microsoft’s hardware products on the heels of the massive cyber attack, and a quarter of respondents said it made them less likely to buy one of the company’s products. Thirty-nine percent said it made no difference, and 19% said the attacks made them more likely to buy Microsoft’s products. As of May 21, a week after WannaCry, 83% of those surveyed said they view the technology giant and its products favorably.
Source: Morning Consult
“The strength of Microsoft’s brand leaves it largely unscathed by the recent security issue — unlike its tech industry peer Yahoo Inc. After disclosing its own data breach, Yahoo’s favorability fell 10 percentage points, polling shows,” Morning Consult said in a report highlighting the results of its recent survey. The media company also found security is on the minds of consumers with many of those polled saying they download security updates and use differing passwords for the various websites they visit. The survey found 68% have security software installed on their PC or laptop while 54% update their computers as soon as a patch comes out. (See more: Credit Suisse Says ‚WannaCry‘ Should Make Microsoft Shareholders Happy)
In the aftermath of the ransomware attack that affected 200,000 people in 150 countries, Microsoft was quick to blame users and the government, which may be the reason consumers still trust it. In a blog post at the time, the company’s president and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said the attack spread because users failed to patch their old Windows operating systems. It didn’t help that some of the infected computers were running Windows XP, the operating system from 16 years ago. The executive also took issue with spy agencies, particularly the National Security Agency, which first developed the attack method that was stolen and refined by hackers. With state-sponsored hacks from the likes of North Korea and Russia becoming commonplace, Smith is calling on governments to limit the cyber tools they create.