Research: 10 Years After 9/11, Still Widespread Concerns About Terrorist Attacks

Nearly 10 years after 9/11, a majority of citizens surveyed in the U.S., Europe and Latin America report that they are "extremely" or "very" concerned about malicious or terrorist attacks on airports, airplanes, railroads, buses, subways or large gatherings of people at office buildings, sporting events or other locations, according to new research conducted by Unisys Corp.

The findings are part of the bi-annual Unisys Security Index, conducted in February, which surveyed more than 11,500 people in 12 countries for consumer opinion on four areas of security: financial, national, Internet and personal safety.

"We've made significant progress in bolstering security in the decade since the attacks of 9/11, but we still have more work to do to increase the speed with which we adopt and implement technology solutions to secure our air cargo, rail transportation and other critical infrastructure systems as attacks become more sophisticated," said Steve Vinsik, vice president, enterprise security, Unisys. "However, recent events such as the Yemeni cargo bomb as well as highly publicized attempted terror attacks in public spaces have raised awareness of security vulnerabilities in countries around the world. Governments and businesses worldwide must work together to address ways to protect our supply chains, public spaces and transportation infrastructures."

When asked about their level of concern about locations they believe are vulnerable to attacks, well over half of respondents in nine of the 11 countries in which that question was asked said airports and airplanes are highly vulnerable.

In general, Europeans surveyed were most concerned, with the highest percentages of those seriously concerned residing in Germany (79 percent), the UK (74 percent) and Belgium (74 percent). High levels of concern were also reported in Mexico (70 percent), Brazil (69 percent) and the Netherlands (67 percent). In the United States, 59 percent of those surveyed said they were seriously concerned.

New Zealand and Australian citizens were the least concerned about attacks on airports and airplanes, at 42 and 48 percent respectively.

Similarly, more than half of respondents in all countries except Australia and New Zealand expressed serious concern about attacks on mass transit locations such as railroads, buses and subways. And in seven of the 11 countries where the question was asked, at least half of respondents said they believe cargo is also vulnerable to attacks.

Overall, the latest results of the Unisys Security Index survey found that citizens around the world are significantly more concerned about nearly all aspects of their security compared to six months ago.

Results showed that financial concerns were top of mind in many countries, with bankcard fraud as the top concern worldwide and concern about the ability to meet financial obligations jumping significantly, especially in the United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand. Concern over national security also climbed in nearly all of the countries where financial security concern rose.

On a level from zero to 300, the overall global Unisys Security Index score jumped more than 17 percent in six months, from 125 to 147, to the highest levels since the survey began in 2007. While nearly all countries reported increases in overall concern, countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom reported their highest levels of concern ever.

Measures of financial and personal security rose to a serious level of concern for the first time. The financial security index moved to 159, the highest level yet, with bankcard fraud identified as the top financial concern in every country. Similarly, the personal security index rose to an all time high of 151, with identify theft the second highest overall concern in every country except Mexico.

 

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