Public losing faith in government's ability to secure data

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Public losing faith in government's ability to secure data

Simon Quicke

The prospect that government cuts could undermine the security of confidential data is a rising fear among members of the public not convinved that their records can be kept safe as cutbacks are rolled out across the public sector.

The concerns have been revealed in a YouGov survey carried out for Websense, which showed that the public is worried that both personal and financial information could be at risk.

Just shy of half those quizzed, 48% of respondents, were worried that the spending cuts could put their personal and financial information at risk and 35% thought government 'secrets' might make it out into the open.

Well over half those surveyed thought that local councils were not as secure as some of the central government agencies including HMRC, DVLA and the Passport Agency.

But there was a general feeling that over the next five years there would be an impact on data from the cuts with 19% believing it will make information much less secure.

Andy Philpott, regional vice president, UK and Ireland for Websense said the public perception was a difficult commodity to measure but the fears had to be acknowledged by government.

"It's important to note that many government departments are working hard to ensure that data is not compromised in the future and that cuts can represent a fresh way of thinking for their security strategy," he said.

"With more government organisations starting to share services such as their IT, this is a great opportunity for them to invest in an integrated security solution that not only reduces costs; it also increases their data security," he added. 

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