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Data Security, Terrorism Top Executive Worries

A Harris Interactive online poll shows that more than five years after 9/11, more than half of business leaders are still worried about terrorism.

More corporate executives are more worried about data security and terrorism than anything else, according to a new study.

Sixty-one percent of executives report being most concerned about information systems being compromised, and another 55% worry about terrorism, according to a Harris Interactive poll that was conducted in September. The poll also shows that corporate malfeasance worries about 40% of executives.

"No business can survive without customer trust," Mike Dabadie, a division president at Harris Interactive, said in a written statement. "In today's computerized economy, customers trust companies with a lot of sensitive personal and financial information. Any breach of data security that would compromise that trust can have a devastating impact on the company's reputation."

He also added, "The fact that more than five years after 9/11, more than half of business leaders are still worried about terrorism is a significant thing."

In the poll, only 9% of respondents said they're not worried about data security at all, and only 14% said they're not at all worried about terrorism.

Thirty-two percent of those polled called environmental mishaps a top concern, while 21% said they're highly worried about product recalls and 19% are highly worried about workforce violence.

So what are they going to do to alleviate those worries?

Forty percent of those polled said they have put in use a crisis management plan, and of those executives, 85% said they were either very or somewhat satisfied with those plans.

Harris Interactive polled 197 senior executives at large companies in an online survey for this study.

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