New CIO Magazine Poll Reveals Executives Worried About Personal Identity Theft

TUCSON, AZ – JANUARY 31, 2001 – A new CIO KnowPulse(SM) poll, conducted by IDG's CIO magazine reveals increased concerns among tech-savvy executives about privacy and security. Results show a majority (64%) of chief information officers (CIOs), CEOs and other business leaders are worried about misuse of their email and personal identity, with six percent (6%) saying this has already happened to them. The poll was deployed on Monday, January 29, 2001, at CIO magazine's ninth annual Enterprise Value Retreat and Awards Ceremony, where 350 of the most technology-astute executives in the world are convening this week. According to Lew McCreary, Editorial Director of CIO magazine, "The fact that this audience is concerned about personal identity theft underscores the seriousness of current security and privacy threats to businesses and individuals alike."


Other responses to the poll support the need for security and privacy concerns: –One in five (20%) report hacker attacks to their company's network have

increased over the past three months;

–Twelve percent (12%) state their company lost money due to external computer crime, of which a small group report losing more than $1 million in the past year;

–A majority of 71% are concerned that e-commerce sites will rescind promises not to sell customer information if they go bankrupt.

CIOs also express concern about public knowledge of hacks into their enterprise systems. Should a hack become public, 61% fear their company's stock valuation will decline. According to McCreary, "If companies are fearfully keeping their hacker experiences and lessons learned to themselves, the chance of industry uniting to forge a front against hacker invasion and terrorism becomes nearly impossible." Interestingly, approximately one-third (31%) of respondents believe their ability to address cyber security issues is limited because companies do not share critical information

CIOs' security and privacy concerns play into the heated debate about e- commerce sites selling or using customer information. The majority (70%) say websites do not own customer information and should not be able to share or sell it without the customer's permission. One-fifth (21%) say that customer information should not be shared or sold under any circumstances. Contrasting this view, almost one in ten (9%) believe the websites own the customer information and should be able to share or sell it as they see fit.

CIOs on the Economy

Despite some concerns about privacy infringements and security breaches depleting stock value, views of the economy remain optimistic. CIOs attribute the softening economy to normal economic fluctuations (35%), venture capitalist/investor errors being rectified (34%) and the unfulfilled promise of what technology could deliver (15%). At the same time, the softening economy and demise of many dotcoms has not diminished CIOs' confidence in e- commerce. CIOs proclaim e-commerce is not dead, rather it is stabilizing (52%), with 43% saying it's growing and only 6% saying it's slowing. Interestingly, eleven percent (11%) have made radical changes to their Internet strategy in the past six months while nearly half (49%) have made significant or substantial changes.

With respect to the economic outlook, a confident 82% believe that Nasdaq — after delisting companies and threatening to delist companies — will not fold and is here to stay. Five percent (5%) think it will fold in five years or less, two percent (2%) predict it will fold in more than five years and 11% are unsure. Only one-quarter (25%) have removed stocks traded on Nasdaq from their portfolio with 9% saying they've never owned stock traded on Nasdaq.

CIOs on Political Activity

CIO KnowPulse poll results show CIOs and business executives are staying on top of political issues, with more than two-thirds (68%) stating they monitor legal or regulatory developments that impact their company's e- business strategy. Further, following the recent power outages in California, a majority (55%) believe the technology industry should lobby government for changes in regulation/deregulation of the electric industry to prevent a nationwide spread of power outages.

"It's worthy of note that CIOs are becoming more tuned into political and legal developments at a time when a new Administration is developing its technology agenda," says McCreary.

CIOs on High Tech Labor Unions

CIOs say phooey to suggestions about high tech labor unions. In response to recent reports that several high tech pre-IPO companies — including — are pushing for unions to protect them against unreasonable hours, wages and low job security, 60% say such unions are unwarranted and 20% say they're out and out ridiculous. Only three percent (3%) say their employees have suggested such a union.


1.) When selecting a vendor to implement new technologies in your company, what is the most important factor?

36% Best of breed

56% Ease of integration with existing technology

1% Using your current vendor's product/service line

1% Using a consultant to make recommendations

3% Other

3% Don't know/unsure

2.) Employees at several high-tech pre-IPO companies are pushing for unions to protect them against unreasonable work hours, lack of job security, low wages and/or broken promises about getting rich quickly. Have your employees suggested such a union?

3% Yes

59% No

36% Not applicable, not a pre-IPO

2% Don't know/unsure

3.) Do you think high-tech labor unions are:

6% Warranted

60% Unwarranted

20% Ridiculous

14% Don't know/unsure

4.) Is your ability to fight cyber terrorism and address cyber security issues limited because companies don't share critical information?

31% Yes