Feeds

Consumers hit by net security jitters

Fear of fraud

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

A survey released this week by security technology vendor Entrust has highlighted consumer concerns about use of the internet. The results of the survey show that security concerns have not been eased by efforts that companies have taken to ensure the security of transactions made over their websites.

However, where consumers used to be primarily concerned about hackers stealing their credit card details, security concerns have become even more personal. Today, the survey commissioned by Entrust shows that a full 80 per cent of respondents that are existing internet users are concerned that someone will steal their identity were they to perform banking functions online. Whilst previously this was a problem that was largely confined to the US, it has become a growing problem worldwide over the past couple of years. In the UK, identity theft is the fastest growing form of fraud and the Home Office estimates that it is costing the UK alone £1.3bn per year.

Identity fraud is also changing in nature: whilst previously, around 70 per cent of identity theft involved the stealing of physical data from consumers, such as bank statements and other information stolen from discarded rubbish, there has been a dramatic rise recently in the phenomenon known as phishing. Also known as brand spoofing, phishing refers to a scam in which a website of, for example, a bank is spoofed. Consumers are often sent e-mails that appear to be legitimate and that often ask the recipient to follow a link to a website. The website to which they are directed will usually contain logos from the company that it purports to represent and may even contain some legitimate links. However, it is actually a copy of a company's real website and has been set up to dupe consumers into giving their personal and/or financial information over the internet.

Entrust's survey indicates that the problem of identity theft is a major concern for 80 per cent of respondents and they are specifically concerned about someone using their online credentials to access their bank accounts. This is a problem that is particularly prevalent in the online banking world - whilst 85 per cent of respondents stated that they purchased goods and services over the internet, just 59 per cent were using the internet to bank online.

However, the outlook is not entirely bleak for financial institutions that are trying not only to improve customer service by offering online banking, but are also trying to reduce their costs. Of those respondents that do not currently use online banking, 72 per cent indicated that they would be prepared to if security were improved, whilst 90 per cent of those that currently bank online would be prepared to take advantage of a wider range of value-added services if better identity protection were offering. Respondents also indicated that they would willingly use stronger security methods to protect their online identities, with 78 per cent willing to use a two-factor method of authentication instead of just a single password.

Whilst the financial sector is the number one target for identity thieves, all businesses could benefit from paying greater attention to the provision of higher levels of security. Another survey just released by Logica CMG indicates that one in twenty consumers has experienced an attempted or actual theft of financial or personal details whilst carrying out online transactions such as banking and shopping. When asked if they would continue to buy from an online retailer again when their personal or financial information had been compromised by that retailer, 79 per cent of respondents indicated that they would not use the online service again - and 65 per cent stated that they would stop purchasing from that company altogether - whether online or at a high-street outlet.

Security technologies for improving online services exist and companies should take a long hard look at those they are deploying on customer-facing sites. Lack of security may not just be losing companies potential revenue, but may also be damaging their corporate reputation.

© IT-Analysis.com

Related stories

Four charged in landmark UK phishing case
UK banks launch anti-phishing website
US phishing losses hit $500m

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.