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IT managers worry more about their customers’ security fears than direct threats to their websites, such as phishing, identity theft or site spoofing, a survey has revealed.

The survey by online security firm VeriSign revealed 88% of  IT managers rank customer confidence in security at the top of their list of concerns and allocate nearly 20% of their IT budget to addressing consumer fears.

Matthew Bruun, director at VeriSign, said, “Problems associated with transacting online, like phishing and identity fraud, receive a lot of media attention, which can make consumers nervous. Businesses need to demonstrate their security credentials in a very visible way, through technologies like EV SSL Certificates and security deals.”

The survey was undertaken in March 2010 with 719 IT managers from the UK, France, Germany and Sweden.

Top three ways to improve customer security confidence

1. Green address bar. Forty per cent of IT managers deployed Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates. EV SSL turns the address bar green in browsers to assure consumers that transactions will be safely encrypted. Of the IT managers who deployed EV SSL, 78% said the technology improved customer perceptions of security on their sites, according to the Verisign study.

2. Trust the tick. Forty per cent of respondents reported using third-party trust marks such as the VeriSign seal to make their security credentials more visible to website visitors.

3. Consumer education. Thirty-three per cent of organisations surveyed try to educate consumers and provide an explanation of how their site is kept safe.

Source – VeriSign