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Voters Want Better Cyber Security

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA) today released the results of its semi-annual survey dedicated to measuring the American public’s confidence in the security of the nation’s digital infrastructure. The results of the nationwide survey of 1,150 adults conducted on behalf of CSIA by Pineda Consulting demonstrate for the first time that Americans’ lack of confidence in the Internet may have political consequences. In addition, the survey suggests that the lack of action by the U.S. government is manifesting itself through continued economic losses.

Fewer than one in five Americans feel that existing laws are enough to protect them on the Internet. Moreover, voters express a clear preference for strong federal data security legislation even when presented with the argument that it will result in unwanted notices and higher prices with 70 percent of likely voters agreeing that Congress should pass a strong data security law. Nearly half (46 percent) of likely voters who think that Congress should pass a strong data security law report that they would have serious doubts about a candidate that opposes swift action. The survey also revealed little difference between Republicans and Democrats on cyber security policy issues.

“The rash of high-profile data breaches over the past 18 months has compromised more than 55 million personal records. Meanwhile, Congress has spent more than a year debating data security legislation without results as the issue of data security has been rising in the public consciousness,” said Paul Kurtz, executive director of CSIA. “While data security alone won’t be a deciding factor in an election, the survey does reveal that voters have serious doubts about candidates opposed to strong data security laws. Consumers are beginning to understand the link between their privacy and data security and they are looking to their government leaders for action. CSIA encourages Congress to respond with a comprehensive national data security law this year that establishes reasonable security measures, creates a consistent and recognizable notification standard, encourages best practices such as encryption, and includes effective enforcement.”

Cyber Security Industry Alliance