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Survey: Value of Online Business Outweighs Security Concerns

Business users feel more secure online than consumers, an RSA survey says, and both groups are willing to assume some risk to conduct business online.

The willingness of companies and consumers to do business online has outpaced the trust both entities have in the Internet, a study released Tuesday showed.

The report, which establishes an "Internet Confidence Index" for the United States and Europe, found a security index of 22 and a transaction index of 55 for businesses, said RSA Security Inc., which released the study at its user conference in San Jose, Calif. For consumers, the security index was 5 and the transaction index 37. An index of 100 would be the highest confidence score.

The numbers showed that companies and consumers are willing to accept security risks in order to conduct business online, RSA, based in Bedford, Mass., said.

“It is not surprising that business users feel more secure online than consumers, with an array of firewalls and other defensive measures in place around them, but it is astonishing to see the extent to which both groups are willing to assume some level of risk in their transactions,” Art Coviello, president and chief executive of RSA, said in a statement.

The study also found that the volume of transactions is growing in all the countries surveyed. Only 1 percent of businesses said they were doing fewer online transactions today than 12 months ago.

The study was based on a 39-question survey that focused on issues of confidence and trust in secure online transactions. The survey was given to 601 business respondents and 603 consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France.

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