Security in the supply chain still a major U.S. concern

“The survey findings have serious implications for the supply chain,” said Patricia Titus, chief information security officer for Unisys. “Transparency is key wherever you do business…whether it’s in this country or abroad. Unfortunately, there’s too little of it today.”

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Americans are significantly more concerned about nearly all aspects of their security compared to six months ago, according to new research conducted by Unisys Corporation.

The largest rise in concern centered on Internet security, measured at levels 35 percent higher than in August 2010, with approximately half of Americans seriously concerned about viruses, spam and the safety of online shopping.

The bi-annual Unisys Security Index surveys more than 1,000 Americans to gauge consumer opinion on four areas of security: financial, national, Internet and personal safety. The total U.S. Unisys Security Index score jumped more than 20 percent over the past six months, to a level of concern that researchers marked as “serious” – the first time the U.S. index reading has warranted that designation since the survey began in 2007.

“The survey findings have serious implications for the supply chain,” said Patricia Titus, chief information security officer for Unisys. “Transparency is key wherever you do business…whether it’s in this country or abroad. Unfortunately, there’s too little of it today.”

In an interview with SCMR, she added that air security is still “top of mind” with most consumers.

“While the air cargo industry has been trying hard to educate consumers and the travelling public that the real threat is posed by other passengers, the message isn’t getting across.”

Beyond Internet security, the new Unisys survey shows that Americans are just as concerned about potential security attacks on critical infrastructure targets as they are about transportation such as airplanes, airports and mass transit.

For example, 61 percent of Americans were seriously concerned about the vulnerability of bridges, power plants and pipelines – a greater number than those seriously concerned about airport or airplane security (59 percent). Other areas of serious concern included mass transit (57 percent), large public gatherings (57 percent) and cargo (56 percent).

Apart from supply chain concerns, however, Americans appear to still be suffering from “global anxiety.”

On a scale of 1 to 300, the Unisys Security Index stands at 164 in the U.S., up from 136 six months ago. The increase is due largely to higher concerns related to the war or terrorism, identity theft and bankcard fraud.

For example, 70 percent of Americans surveyed said they were seriously concerned about identity theft, and 68 percent of Americans surveyed said they were seriously concerned about falling victim to credit or debit card fraud. Also, 67 percent were seriously concerned about national security.

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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