A recent survey by online security firm VeriSign suggests that online merchants worry more about conceived customer worries than actual security threats.
The survey found that 88 per cent of IT managers in the UK consider customer confidence to be a top worry, ahead of threats such as direct attacks or internal vulnerabilities.
On average, the survey found that within the UK, companies spent roughly 19 per cent of IT budgets to address customer confidence issues. That figure was tops among all European countries.
"Businesses with web sites need customers' trust. It costs a lot of money to build a good site, even more to build a brand and advertise it," said VeriSign director Matthew Bruun.
"It's an expensive failure if you lose customers at the final hurdle because they don't feel confident enough to buy."
The report comes as one major financial institution is working to clean up a possible security flaw in its user software.
Citigroup is advising users to update to a new version of the company's iPhone app following the discovery that older versions of the software may leave user data accessible in both handsets and PCs.
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