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1 in 7 high income earners victim of data theft and 91% of the country is bothered about protection of their personal data

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 only 5% of respondents claimed not to be bothered about the security of their personal data. The recent publicity on international breaches, such as the TJX/TKMaxx data loss and Nationwide laptop theft, seems to have had a dramatic impact on the UK consumer.

83% of the 1243 people surveyed reference the security of their bank and credit card details as a concern and for 76% of them it is the personal data they are keenest to protect. Although the PCI compliance initiative suggests that this message might be getting through in some places, evidently taking the steps needed to achieve compliance is only a first step to stopping data loss and banks could play a stronger role in underpinning the security of credit card transactions.

Clearly the British public is not satisfied with the current track record of financial institutions in safeguarding their personal data. Over half of respondents (58%) see banks and building societies as needing to be more active in safeguarding confidential information.

The thorny issue of disclosure is also highlighted in the survey. 82% of respondents expect immediate notification from their bank or building society if their data was lost – and among the higher income earners (over £25K) this rose to 93%.

And only 4% trust the banks to look after their personal data. However, there was a very clear call for political action too – and when asked to prioritise the government was chosen as first choice in terms of who should be more active.

Recent breaches may also have made people feel that they need to act themselves in the event of personal information being lost. For 48% their first course of action would be to cancel their credit cards and well over half would vote with their feet and immediately stop using the service from where their data had been compromised.

It is not only the ability to secure UK data that concerns the public. More and more British companies – financial institutions 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.

Additional findings from Secerno’s survey include:

• 86% of those earning over £25K put the privacy of their banking and credit card details as their first concern.

• 53% of respondents would chose to stop using a service immediately in the event of personal information being lost.

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

• Among the 45-54 age bracket and working, just over 1 in 6 and among higher income earners, 1 in 9 have been victim of data theft.

• Almost half of lower income earners put the government first as the group who should become more active in improving protection but higher income earners place almost equal onus on financial institutions and Parliament.

• 93% of higher income earners want to receive immediate communication in the event of loss of their data.

• Of people who never use online banking or shop online half of them would nevertheless cancel their credit cards or stop using a bank’s services in the event of data loss.- so this is not just an issue for online banks.

• The young generally have more faith in financial institutions. 41% of 15-24 year olds and 38% of 25-34 year olds think that the banks are doing enough to protect their data

• 36% of consumers would not put personal information online, yet 11% of them have still been a victim of data theft.

“This survey provides financial institutions 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 one in nine people overall said that they have been a victim of data theft, yet almost half (49%) of those victims would never put personal information online and a quarter (26%) 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 banks and other financial institutions 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 they have an immediate disincentive in relation to doing 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 companies would not necessarily be obliged to warn their customers.

“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 the service-providers 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 delivers 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 unique 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.

Based in 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.

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: Personal Finance, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.