The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) has released its 2013 Online Trust Honor Roll report, which analyzed websites’ privacy, security and consumer protection.

More than 750 domains and privacy policies were reviewed by the OTA, while over 10,000 web pages and in excess of 500 million emails associated with the Internet Retailer 500, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the top 50 social and federal government sites were explored.

The extensive analysis focused on the three major areas of domain, brand and consumer protection; site, server and infrastructure security; and data protection and privacy.

Worryingly, since the last study there has been a 117 per cent increase in breaches, with 2,644 occurring in 2012 alone. These attacks led to 267,000,000 records being exposed.

What is even more concerning is the fact that three in four businesses are failing to adopt online security and privacy best practices.

Cyber attacks are on the rise and 40 per cent of all data breaches are caused by hacking, while 52 per cent are as a result of malware infecting the systems through various means.

Of all categories, social gaming and dating sites outpaced both the Internet Retailer 500 and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation by two to one in the number of companies qualifying for the OTA’s famous Honor Roll.

Websites within these segments clearly recognize the importance of data security and privacy to their infrastructure. Meanwhile, banks and commerce firms have more complex legacy sites and data centers, which slow their ability to adopt many of the best practices recommended by the OTA.

Some 26 per cent of the Internet Retailer 500 made the Honor Roll – an improvement on 2012 – but 53 per cent are still failing in one or more categories, which is unnecessarily exposing users to security, privacy and social engineering threats.

Of the companies that did not make the prestigious list, one-third of these organizations failed in their privacy provisions.

Firms that are not taking the relevant precautions are putting their brand and reputation at risk.

Craig Spiezle, president and executive director of the OTA, commented: “The 2013 report demonstrates how business leaders have recognized the need to move from compliance to stewardship. This is critical to consumer trust and to help stem the call for more regulation.”

For more information on protecting your site from cybercriminals please contact CSC Digital Brand Services.

OTA announces its 2013 Online Trust Honor Roll report

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