, a survey conducted by Zogby Analytics shows investors may
refuse to buy stock in companies that have demonstrated
vulnerability to cyber-attacks.
More than 70 percent of investors, according to the survey,
expressed a desire to review the cyber security history of
companies with almost twice as many worried about a breach of
customer data than theft of intellectual property.
Jim Butterworth, HBGary's chief security officer points to the
publicity brought by theft of consumer data, while pointing out
that IP theft is actually worse, costing corporations billions of
dollars in lost revenue.
Investor awareness about cyber security issues may be
triggered, in part, by several recent high-profile cyber-attacks,
including attacks at the Federal Reserve, The New York Times
), Apple (NASDAQ:
), Facebook (NASDAQ:
), and Wells Fargo Bank (NYSE:
Although the White House announced a new executive order aimed
at addressing the issue, lawmakers in Congress have not moved
quickly enough, according to observers.
As a consequence, the
New York Times
reports that Internet companies, sensitive to all the negative
publicity these attacks generate, are in a race to prove to
consumers that each is better at keeping data safe from their
Apple, for example, initiated a requirement that apps in its
iOS operating system get permission from users before asking for
their location or checking calendar entries or contacts on their
Other companies are offering privacy tools such as ways to
encode Facebook posts and secure personal data stored in the
Even Microsoft (NASDAQ:
) has demonstrated a certain sensitivity to privacy issues by
activating, by default, an anti tracking signal in its latest
Internet Explorer browser.
Microsoft has also taken shots at rival, Google (NASDAQ:
) with its "scroogled" campaign, charging the search engine giant
with scanning emails and search histories in order to target
With the Zogby survey clearly demonstrating the priority
investors place on cyber security, look for continued emphasis on
this metric moving forward.
In fact, according to Fox, the movement is already underway
with Citigroup (NYSE:
) only last week acknowledging "limited losses" and increased
security expenditures from cyber-attacks.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:
) also mentioned cyber security in its annual filing indicating
that it has "developed and implemented a framework of principles,
policies and technology to protect the information provided to us
by our clients and that of the firm from cyber-attacks."
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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