Online companies threatened by poor security

Half of all customers will switch ISPs if it means they can shop online safely, according to a new survey.

Of 8,000 people questioned in the global survey nearly fifty percent said they would be more likely to switch service providers if one offered strong authentication and theirs did not. The revelation arrives at a time when consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the threat of ID theft.

"Just when consumers were beginning to understand the required elements of secure electronic commerce they have been plunged into the realisation that attackers are working hard to extract and exploit personal information," said Trent Henry, senior analyst at the Burton Group. "As a result, enterprises are looking for ways to improve the technologies and processes used by customers in the online realm, both to rebuild trust and to reduce the likelihood of identity theft and related problems."

Four-fifths of those surveyed felt threatened or extremely threatened by online security threats, the same amount fearing online fraud. According to RSA, which commissioned the survey, the increasingly awareness and fear creates a challenge for banks and online services.

"Consumers clearly want to stay active online but they have effectively thrown down the gauntlet for the banks, brokerages, web email services, auction sites and myriad other businesses to whom they entrust their personal information," said Chris Young, VP of consumer authentication at RSA.

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