Consumer Concerns over Information Security on the Rise, CMO Council Study Finds

Consumers Beginning to Take Security Stand; Could Cause Erosion in Brand Trust

PALO ALTO, CA (August 7, 2006) —While consumers are perennially worried about breaches in information security, those concerns are rising throughout the U.S. and Europe, enough to have a major impact on consumer loyalty and business relationships, says the new “Secure the Trust of Your Brand” survey of over 2,200 consumers fielded by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and the Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum, and underwritten by Symantec and Factiva, a Dow Jones and Reuters company. The report is available for download at:

Not only do more than half of survey respondents say their security concerns are rising —particularly among those who have experienced breaches firsthand—but consumers are not taking these incidents lightly: 40 percent have actually stopped a transaction online, on the phone or in a store due to a security concern. More than one third indicate they would strongly consider taking their business elsewhere if their personal information was compromised, and a quarter would definitely take their business elsewhere. There’s good reason for such consumer backlash over security: In 2005, more than 52 million account records were stolen or misplaced—a record year for such breaches.

Among the other key findings of the survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation:

  • U.S. consumers polled were most concerned with identity theft—even more so than terrorist threats and other personal safety issues. Conversely, European consumers cited Internet transaction security as their biggest information-based worry

  • Computer security breaches, such as viruses and spy ware, are clearly a unifying force in both geographies: two thirds of consumers across the U.S. and Europe have been victims of these types of breaches

  • There’s room for companies to literally make a name for themselves with robust security policies and response strategies. When asked an open-ended question about their “most trusted” type of industry or specific company in terms of security, consumers’ answers varied widely, indicating an opportunity for companies and industries to further build brand trust. Banking was the industry most often named by respondents as “most trusted” for protecting its customers’ security, and Symantec/Norton was the company/brand most often named by respondents, with McAfee and Microsoft tied for second.

“These results show that in this digital age, consumer attention is rapidly shifting toward information security, and it’s enough to significantly affect brand reputation and value,” says Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “Consequently, IT security and integrity offer a new channel for brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors.”

The consumer survey is one component of the comprehensive ongoing Secure the Trust of Your Brand initiative, which also includes qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys with business and marketing executives, research conducted by the Zyman Institute of Brand Science at Emory University, and a comprehensive media tracking study fielded by Factiva. The full Secure the Trust of Your Brand report will be available in September 2006. Also slated for September is the Secure the Trust of Your Brand Web cast, featuring noted industry executives who will interpret the study results and suggest best practices.

About Factiva ®
Factiva, a Dow Jones and Reuters Company , provides essential business news and information together with the content delivery tools and services that enable professionals to make better decisions faster. Factiva’s unrivalled collection of more than 10,000 authoritative sources includes the exclusive combination of The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times ®, Dow Jones and Reuters newswires and the Associated Press, as well as Reuters Fundamentals and D&B® company profiles.

Factiva’s innovative, XML-based and Web services-enabled technology platform provides access to this rich content collection via Factiva’s role-specific products or through customized enterprise, group or personal solutions. Executives, information professionals, marketers, salespeople and other professionals can easily monitor and understand the latest news, market trends and business challenges relevant to them – directly from the Microsoft® Office and job-specific applications they use every day.

About Symantec
Symantec is the world leader in providing solutions to help individuals and enterprises assure the security, availability, and integrity of their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at

About CMO Council
The CMO Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior marketing and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. Approximately 2,300 top marketing executives are represented on the CMO Council worldwide, accounting for well over $50 billion in aggregated annual revenues. Visit the CMO Council website to find out about the initiatives geared to address executive marketers’ challenges at

About BPM Forum
The BPM Forum helps advance the understanding of business performance management techniques, technologies, and process in global enterprises. The Forum brings together influential business line managers and senior executives overseeing enterprise finance, operations, and technology functions. Nearly 1,000 companies are currently represented as members of the BPM Forum, accounting for well over $500 billion in aggregated annual revenues.