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Data Losses Erode User Confidence

CSIA study: Data losses hurt consumer confidence, prevent them from doing e-commerce

Recent high-profile data losses are eroding online consumers' buying confidence and affecting corporations' bottom lines, according to a study published earlier this week.

Fifty percent of Internet users currently avoid making purchases online because they are afraid their financial information may get stolen, according to a survey released this week by the Cyber Security Industry Alliance , an advocacy group led by top security vendors. That figure has grown by 2 percent since last year, the CSIA said.

The findings won't surprise many, especially given some recent headlines that point as much to negligence as malice. (See VA Reports Massive Data Theft and UT Computer Breach Hits 200,000.)

Sixty-four percent of consumers believe that online banking puts the user's financial information at risk.

On a scale of one to ten, consumers gave the Internet a 7.4 for performance, according the survey, which polled 1,150 respondents. However, they rated the Internet's security at 5.0.

"The American public is very concerned that nobody is minding the new store," the CSIA said.

This attitude is costing enterprises money, the CSIA reports. According to the survey, 91 percent of consumers with a high level of confidence in Internet security buy products online, spending about $116 per month. If all consumers were as confident, the CSIA postulates that online spending would increase by approximately $3.8 billion per month in the U.S. alone.

The CSIA is using the data to advocate faster action by both Congress and U.S. businesses. According to the survey, 66 percent of Americans believe that the government should put a higher priority on protecting information systems and networks, and 72 percent believe businesses should do more. Some 79 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans think that new computer security laws need to be written, the CSIA said.

— Tim Wilson, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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