Online merchants worry more about perceived customer worries than actual security threats, according to a recent survey by VeriSign.
The online security firm 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.
The survey revealed that European e-commerce companies allocate an average 19 per cent of IT budgets to address customer confidence issues.
"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 software.
Citigroup is advising customers to update to a new version of the company's iPhone app following the discovery that older versions may expose personal information on handsets and PCs.
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