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Five ways for government to increase security, privacy and confidence

Cyber ransom

Cyber ransom.

Viruses and malware.

Hacktivism. Identity theft.

Reports of cybersecurity threats and incidents are relentless. A new Accenture Public Service Pulse Survey affirms what you might expect: When it comes to cyber security, citizens feel threatened. The research also shows citizens lack confidence in government’s ability to protect their data and safeguard their privacy. And, it points to five clear investments government can make—today—to improve data protection and foster citizen trust.


High anxiety, low confidence

When Accenture surveyed more than 3,400 US citizens, eight in 10 (79 percent) expressed concern about the security and privacy of their personal digital data. Among their top concerns: identity theft (cited by 66 percent of citizens), unauthorized access to financial accounts (64 percent) and credit card theft (55 percent).

This sense of cyber insecurity is pervasive across industries, with the survey showing that citizens do not perceive any “special” threat related to government. In fact, eight in 10 citizens think their data is more secure (20 percent) or as secure (59 percent) with government as with commercial organizations. That’s the good news. The bad? Citizens don’t have much faith in any sector, and three-quarters lack confidence in government’s ability to keep their data private and secure.

Five Ways


Five ways to turn the tide

While citizens’ lack of confidence in cyber security should not come as a shock, what may be less clear is what to do about it.

What actions can government take that will make citizens feel more confident? What investments in security do citizens consider worthwhile? And what cyber-security measures will help bolster their overall perception of government?

As part of the survey, Accenture described five examples of cyber protection services and gauged citizen support of each.

Accenture’s research shows that citizens have similar perceptions of government and commercial organizations—and both have much work to do. To boost citizen confidence and trust, government must act now. The five investments offer smart, citizen-endorsed ways to get started.

INFORMATION SECURITY ASSESSMENT

1

70% of citizens indicated this is a valuable use of government resources

82% said it would make them more confident in the privacy and security of their data


DIGITAL IDENTITY

2

72% of citizens indicated this is a valuable use of government resources

85% said it would make them more confident in the privacy and security of their data


CYBER DEFENSE

3

74% of citizens indicated this is a valuable use of government resources

85% said it would make them more confident in the privacy and security of their data


EMERGING TECHNOLOGY SECURITY

4

63% of citizens indicated this is a valuable use of government resources

79% said it would make them more confident in the privacy and security of their data


MANAGED SECURITY SERVICES

5

56% of citizens indicated this is a valuable use of government resources

71% said it would make them more confident in the privacy and security of their data

Confidence in government

Confidence in government cyber security

Highly digital citizens

Highly digital citizens


Those who say they use their computer or mobile device multiple times per day report higher confidence in government’s ability to protect their data.


Citizens 65+

Citizens 65+


Older citizens are less confident in government’s ability to protect their data. They’re also less likely to believe government is more secure than commercial (9 percent versus 20 percent).
Millennials

Millenials


Millennials also express above-average confidence.

Authors

Authors

Lalit Ahluwalia

Lalit Ahluwalia

Health & Public Sector Security Lead

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Peter Hutchinson

Peter Hutchinson

Public Services Strategy Managing Director

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