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Australians’ Security Concerns Reach New High – Unisys Security Index™ Finds

Australia records second largest increase in security concern of 13 countries surveyed; identity theft continues to top Aussie concerns; but concerns around national security and online security jumped significantly

SYDNEY, 21 June, 2017 – The Australian public’s concern about security issues is the highest it has been in the last decade – according to the 2017 Unisys Security Index™.

The overall Unisys Security Index for Australia is 157 out of 300, up from 106 recorded in the last survey in 2014, and the highest index since the research was first conducted in Australia in 2006. Australia recorded the second largest increase of the 13 countries surveyed, behind only the Netherlands.

The Unisys Security Index is a global study that gauges the attitudes of consumers on a wide range of issues related to national, personal, financial and Internet security. The study polled 1,002 adults in Australia during April 2017. The 13 countries surveyed are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Columbia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, UK and U.S.

“While the emerging markets of Philippines, Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil and Argentina recorded the highest index scores, the biggest increases are in the mature markets of Netherlands, Australia, U.S. and UK,” said John Kendall, director of border and national security programs, Unisys. “Even developed countries are starting to feel vulnerable – especially as we move to an increasingly interconnected global digital economy. The recent global impact of the WannaCry ransomware attack (which occurred after this survey) made this abundantly clear. Consumer trust is very fragile. Organisations have to assume that they will eventually be breached and take immediate steps to minimise and contain the impact on themselves and their customers in order to gain and maintain that trust.”

The top two areas of security concern for Australians are:

  • Identity Theft: 58 percent of Australians are extremely or very concerned about unauthorised access to, or misuse of, personal information.
  • Bank Card Fraud: 55 percent of Australians are similarly concerned about other people obtaining or using their credit/debit card details.

While concern increased in all areas of security polled, the biggest jumps are:

  • Viruses/Hacking: 54 percent of Australians are concerned about computer and Internet security in relation to viruses, unsolicited emails or hacking – almost double, up from 28 percent in 2014.
  • National Security: 54 percent are concerned about Australia’s national security in relation to war/terrorism – up from 32 percent in 2014.

“Identity is fundamental to addressing each of these issues. Anchoring our identity with secure multifactor authentication (including biometrics) provides a strong deterrent to unauthorised people accessing our personal information, our finances and the IT systems we depend upon. Similarly, biometrics-anchored identification both expedites and secures processes such as international border clearance,” said Mr Kendall.

Demographic Differences:
Across Australia, New South Wales and Queensland recorded the highest levels of overall concern (index of 163 and 160 respectively) and the Northern Territory the lowest (index of 136).

Women are more concerned than men (index for women is 166 vs 149 for men). Young people aged 18-24 years are the most concerned (index of 173), with concern steadily dropping as age increases (down to an index of 150 for 55-65 year olds).

“Young people are more concerned about misuse of their personal data and card fraud than older age groups - suggesting that they are very aware of the issue. Yet they are not very concerned about the security of shopping or banking online – perhaps because it is ‘the norm’ for this generation.

“Banks, retailers and governments wanting to move more of their transactions online can use innovative security measures as a point of difference and position themselves as safe organisations to do business with – not only in terms of preventing data breaches, but also in terms of minimising the impact on customers in a world where breaches are inevitable. Many banks already do this well, setting an example for retailers and government agencies to follow,” said Mr Kendall.

Download the full report of Australian results and infographichere.

About the Unisys Security Index
Unisys has conducted the Unisys Security Index – the only recurring snapshot of security concerns conducted globally – since 2007 in order to provide an ongoing, statistically-robust measure of concern about security. The index is a calculated score out of 300 covering changing consumer attitudes over time across eight areas of security in four categories: national security and disaster/epidemic, in the National Security category; bankcard fraud and financial obligations, in the Financial Security category; viruses/hacking and online transactions, in the Internet Security category; and identity theft and personal safety, in the Personal Security category. The 2017 Unisys Security Index is based on online surveys conducted between 6-18 April, 2017 of nationally representative samples of at least 1,000 adults in each of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, the U.S. and the UK. The margin of error at a country level is +/-3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence level, and 0.9 percent at a global level. For more information on the 2017 Unisys Security Index, visit (www.unisys.com/unisys-security-index/australia).

About Unisys
Unisys is a global information technology company that specializes in providing industry-focused solutions integrated with leading-edge security to clients in the government, financial services and commercial markets. Unisys offerings include security solutions, advanced data analytics, cloud and infrastructure services, application services and application and server software. For more information, visit: www.unisys.com.

About Unisys Asia Pacific
In Asia Pacific, Unisys delivers services and solutions to clients in more than 15 countries across the region. For more information visit: www.unisys.com.au. Follow us on twitter @UnisysAPAC, LinkedIn, and in China on: www.weibo.com/unisyschina and WeChat Official Account: Unisys China.

Contact

Candi Hindocha, Impact Communications
+61 2 9519 5411 or +61 459 104 978, candi@impactcommunications.com.au

Claire Hosegood, Unisys Asia Pacific,
+61 411 253 663, claire.hosegood@au.unisys.com

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