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1 in 7 high earning consumers already victims of data theft and more than half of consumers surveyed will take their business elsewhere if data is lost

OXFORD, Tuesday,17 April 2007, UK company Secerno, the technology leader in data security, today announced the results of an independent survey of over 1,200 UK consumers reviewing their concern on the issue of personal data theft.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos MORI, reveals that 91% of the country is bothered about the protection of their personal data. The recent publicity on international breaches, such as the TJX/TKMaxx data loss, seems to have had a dramatic impact on the UK consumer. More than half would take their custom elsewhere in the event of such a data loss.

There is a clear call for retailers to become more responsible in protecting their customers’ data. One quarter of those surveyed chose online retailers as the group they most want to see being more proactive about protecting their data with a similar number (22%) choosing high street retailers. But over half still see the most important need as being political action by government bodies and banks and building societies, mentioned by 58% of the total sample.

Retailers should heed the fact that 83% specify the security of their bank and credit card details as being their primary concern in terms of data they want to see protected. The PCI compliance initiative from within the industry itself implies that this message might be getting through in some places, but it is clear that taking the steps needed to achieve compliance is only a first step to stopping data loss.

It is not only the ability to secure UK data that concerns the public. More and more British companies – retailers among them - are choosing to outsource their database storage and management facilities overseas. However, the survey reveals that 63% of adults are concerned about the ability of data centres to protect their data, in the UK and abroad.

Expectations are high for greatly improved customer communication. Retailers and others disregarding the importance of the immediate communication of security incidents to their affected customers need to be aware that 82% of those surveyed claim that they would expect to be notified immediately in the event of a data breach.

Despite the reported boom in online commerce, there is still cynicism about how safe people really feel online. 36% of respondents claim there is personal information they would never put online and 1 in 8 would still never shop online.

There are big implications for businesses which lose their customers’ personal information. As a first choice of action 53% of respondents would chose to stop using their service immediately, 48% would opt to cancel their credit cards and 20% would report them to the police. Consumer protection groups such as Watchdog have a role to play. Notifying Watchdog was selected by nearly 1 in 6 of respondents – mainly in the higher income group - as the first step they would take in the event of their personal data being lost.

Additional findings from Secerno’s survey include:

• 45% do not think that banks and online retailers do enough to protect their personal data;

• Only 5% of the UK public surveyed are not worried about data loss.

• 40% of consumers cited the privacy of personal data about their lifestyle being an area of concern. For 27% this was their second greatest worry after the privacy of their financial data.

• In addition, 35% are concerned about protecting their children’s data

• 40% of Tesco’s shoppers never put information online and 26% of them chose high street shops as the group they want to see being more proactive about protecting their data

• 59% of Morrison’s customers feel the level of protection by online e-commerce sites, banks and retail outlets to personal data is inadequate

• Of higher income earners (over £25,000) 41% cite online retailers as the group they most want to see become more proactive in protecting their personal data and 31% of them cite high street retailers as their first choice

“This survey provides the UK retailers with a clear and valuable insight as to the British public’s response to the recent rise in cases of data theft or accidental loss,” said Paul Davie, CEO and Founder of Secerno. “These cases have had an impact on the attitudes of consumers in both the online and offline worlds, as one in nine people overall said that they have been a victim of data theft, yet almost half of those victims would never put personal information online and a quarter of all respondents claim never to use the internet.

Davie says, “ Consumers have a right to be told immediately whenever their personal information may have been compromised, yet those companies holding personal data know that they are likely be punished when a breach becomes known - by loss of customers, damage to reputation, cost of clear up and share price impact. This means that companies have an immediate disincentive to do the right thing in such cases.

He continues, “There is an obvious need for Government action to rebuild public confidence here and a new legal framework is needed in Europe to force disclosure of breaches. Currently, there is no EU Directive to enforce disclosure – which means a TJX/TKMaxx could already have happened but, unlike US companies, European retailers would not necessarily be obliged to warn their customers.

“Any retailer imagining that meeting simply meeting the PCI compliance security requirements is enough to provide comprehensive data protection is fooling itself. Without getting to grips with database management and reviewing the new generation of effective protection from internal and external attacks, it is evident from our survey that customers will punish retailers for their lack of efficiency and respect for their security,” he said. “In this day and age, new data-security solutions can enable corporate-level institutes to develop a secure environment, improve operations and ultimately save time, money and their valued customers.”

About the Survey:

A national representative sample of 1243 UK adults aged 15+ was interviewed between 23rd March and 29th March 2007. All interviewing for Capibus is carried out in-home by Ipsos MORI interviewers using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing)

About Secerno:

Award-winning Secerno (www.secerno.com) provides the world’s most advanced, comprehensive and intelligent database security solution.

Deploying a microperimeter approach, Secerno.SQL sits right next to an organisation’s data asset to protect data at the highest level. Its patent-pending machine-learning technology understands the true intent of database interactions and protects an organisation’s data from both known and unknown threats, whether they originate from external or internal sources.

Secerno enables the continuous improvement of data security by allowing companies to understand, control and protect their data assets. It empowers organisations to derive the most value from their information and to enable data security without the costs associated with traditional solutions.

Located in the City of Oxford, Secerno offers protection to customers across an array of industries including financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, retail and government agencies and departments. Secerno is funded by UK investors, including Eden Ventures, Quester and Oxford Venture Management, who have a successful track record for backing winning innovators and entrepreneurs.

Secerno is a member of the PCI Security Standards Council (www.pcisecuritystandards.org), whose mission is to enhance payment account data security by fostering broad adoption of the PCI Security Standards

For further information, or for a more-detailed summary of key findings, please contact:

Jane Folwell, FolwellPR, tel 01344 845132, mob 07950 033370, email jane@folwellpr.co.uk.

Paula Averley, for FolwellPR, tel 0208 224 9933, mob 07766 257776, email paula@folwellpr.co.uk.

Emma Dunstone, Marketing Director Secerno, 07787 103620, email emma.dunstone@secerno.com

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Jane Folwell in the following categories: Retail & Fashion, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.