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Internet security problems need higher priority

Half of all insurance professionals, including IFAs, would not gamble on the security of their IT systems, according to recent research by CMG.

A survey of insurance professionals by CMG subsidiary CMG Admiral reveals half of them would not bet more than £163.1 that their IT systems are safe from security attacks.

The results suggest that even though 20 per cent of respondents say they spent 10 to 20 per cent of their IT budgets on security last year, more investment is needed in order to make them confident their systems are watertight.

Fifty-two per cent say their primary objective in 2001 is to be effective at e-commerce and 11 per cent are looking to increase customer relationship management.

CMG says it might be hard to achieve these targets if they cannot assure customers their systems are secure.

Only 5 per cent rated internet security as being their greatest IT priority for 2001. Sixty-two per cent believe the biggest IT security threat is from external parties, the rest say it is from internal sources.

When asked what was hindering the implementation of more secure systems, 50 per cent stated having too many devices and platforms, while 33 per cent say it is more down to cost.

CMG Admiral director Mike Woods says: “Insurance companies seem to be taking an &#39it won&#39t happen to me&#39 attitude. An important way of making electronic channels successful is by gaining the trust of those you want to use it. Security is a key issue for many customers who are otherwise wary of publishing their personal details on the internet.”

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