Boardroom blitz needed to save UK e-commerce
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Major e-business players are accusing company directors of apathy,
according to 90% of the delegates at the latest Lewis Industry Forum. Senior directors’ knowledge of security issues is inadequate, causing breaches in security, and a wane in confidence in B2C e-commerce.

Speeches from Peter Sommer, special adviser in electronic commerce to the House of Commons Trade & Industry Select Committee, and Steve Gold, author of The Hacker’s Handbook, also warned of neglect of security.

“The e-commerce security issues facing us today are complex and rapidly changing. Lack of knowledge is the greatest problem facing security in the financial sector,” said Mike Aldren, senior vice-president of Fiserv. “We have to get the right people involved to make the continual changes needed in the industry.”

“Put a former hacker in the room with leading figures in IT and the forum was bound to be potentially explosive,” said Suzanne Sinden, head of research at Lewis. “The role of the board, however, was one area where nearly everyone was in agreement. It’s clear that a dramatic shift needs to occur if we are going to get public confidence up to the levels for e-commerce to enter the mainstream.

“You must review security periodically and educate the whole board,” said Alan Jones, software manager at network management firm WideAwake.

“The debate on whether security is a high enough priority in UK boardrooms was as lively as it could be without disagreements being settled outside,” Sinden concluded.

Lewis specialises in media relations and marketing consultancy for technology companies in Europe and North America. It has a turnover of £4.5 million and employs 70 staff. The company is headquartered in London with subsidiaries in Boston, San Diego, Paris, Munich and Maastricht. Lewis has one of the fastest growth rates in its sector at approximately 50%.



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