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88 Percent of UK IT Managers Concerned over Customer Online Security Fears

Research Reveals IT Staff Spending Resources on Security to Alleviate Customer Concerns and Establish Trust Online

London – July 26, 2010 - According to a new survey of European IT professionals, British IT managers lose more sleep over their customers’ security fears than over direct threats to their web sites such as phishing, identity theft or site spoofing. The research, sponsored by Internet infrastructure services provider VeriSign, revealed that 88 percent of UK IT managers rank customer confidence in security at the top of their list of concerns and have allocated an average of 19 percent of their IT budget to security measures addressing those fears.

The findings suggest respondents are wary of the potentially corrosive effect of growing online threats on customer confidence and online sales. The research also revealed how UK organisations have responded to consumer fears, how consumers have responded in turn and where opportunities for security improvements remain.

The survey also revealed:

  • UK leads in Security. To their credit, IT managers in the UK have responded to consumer fears by leading Europe in their security investments, spending three percent more of their IT budgets than their counterparts in Germany and Sweden.
  • Third-Party Trust Marks. Forty percent of respondents reported using third-party trust marks to make their security credentials more visible to web site visitors. Online businesses can realise significant increases in web site traffic and customer conversion rates by presenting the validation of a familiar trust mark such as the VeriSign seal, recognised by 81 percent of UK online shoppers.
  • “Green Address Bar” for Greater Assurances. Forty percent of the IT managers surveyed claimed that they had deployed Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates to provide customers visual assurances that web site ownership has been verified by a certificate authority and that transactions conducted through their site will be safely encrypted. EV SSL Certificates provide consumers these assurances by turning the address bar green in all current browsers.
  • ROI of Premium Security Measures. Some 78 percent of IT managers that had deployed EV SSL said that the technology improved customer perceptions of security on their sites, while 15 percent stated they saw sales increases as a result of EV SSL.
  • Consumer Education Opportunities. While UK IT managers are bolstering security on their web sites, only 33 percent of respondents claim to provide an explanation of how their site is kept safe. This suggests that organisations savvy enough to proactively educate customers on online safety could develop a “trust advantage” that pays dividends.

Matthew Bruun, Director at VeriSign, explains “Problems associated with transacting online, like phishing and identity fraud, receive a lot of media attention which can make consumers nervous. Businesses with web sites need customers’ trust. It costs a lot of money to build a good site, even more to build a brand and advertise it. It’s an expensive failure if you lose customers at the final hurdle because they don’t feel confident enough to buy. Businesses need to demonstrate their security credentials in a very visible way, through technologies like EV SSL Certificates and security seals.”

About VeriSign
VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) is the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Billions of times each day, VeriSign helps companies and consumers all over the world engage in communications and commerce with confidence. Additional news and information about the company is available at

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as the inability of VeriSign to successfully develop and market new products and services and customer acceptance of any new products or services, including VeriSign Internet Defense Network; the possibility that VeriSign’s announced new services may not result in additional customers, profits or revenues; and increased competition and pricing pressures. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

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