[ISN] Consumers Concerned About Internet Security - Poll

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Dec 11 2001 - 21:54:33 PST

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    By David McGuire, Newsbytes
    11 Dec 2001, 2:34 PM CST
    In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Americans are concerned
    about the security of both government and commercial electronic
    networks, according to a poll released today.
    More than 70 percent of Americans are at least "somewhat concerned"  
    about Internet and computer security in the wake of the Sept. 11
    attacks, according to the poll, which was sponsored by the Information
    Technology Association of America and security firm Tumbleweed
    Roughly 74 percent of Americans are worried that the information they
    give out online could be stolen or misused, the poll found. The
    survey, "Keeping the Faith: Government, Information Security and
    Homeland Cyber Defense," polled 800 randomly selected Americans.
    The poll findings highlight a difficult "catch-22" for the high-tech
    industry, ITAA President Harris Miller said today at a Capitol Hill
    press conference to unveil the study findings.
    On the one hand, e-commerce companies need to be able to reassure
    consumers that it is safe for them to use their credit cards online,
    but on the other hand it is important for the industry not to downplay
    the very real security threats facing the Internet, Miller said.
    "We don't want to say 'don't worry be happy' when we know it's not
    true," Miller said.
    Miller said that what may eventually be needed is something along the
    lines of the long-running "Got Milk" campaign adapted for Internet
    The poll also highlighted a potential public relations headache for
    the federal government, as it indicated that 78 percent of Americans
    were concerned that their government-held personal data could be
    misused in the future.
    Only 17 percent of poll respondents reported having "complete faith"  
    that the government has the capacity to prevent cyberattacks against
    federal agencies.
    Sen. George Allen, R-Va., and Rep. Stephen Horn, R-Calif., who were on
    hand for the release of the poll, said that the government in general
    - and federal agencies in particular - must work harder to develop
    electronic security protocols worthy of public trust.
    In November, Horn issued an electronic security "report card" in which
    federal agencies got an overall grade of "F" for their cybersecurity
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