Retailers report sales bounce using security certificate

Thursday, 24 April 2003, 12:14 AM EST

Can you boost sales on your Web site by promoting your use of tough security? Web-site auditing firm ScanAlert argues that the answer is yes and says it has the facts to back up that claim.

ScanAlert says it has analyzed the shopping behavior of more than 300,000 visitors to 11 online retailers. Sites showing "proof" of increased Web security enjoyed a 10.5% to 33% boost in converting browsers to buyers.

ScanAlert's service, Hacker Safe, does what standard Web-site security-scanning software does, only with a twist. Starting at $149 a month, the company scans Web retailers' sites for security holes, which are often caused by unpatched systems or unnecessary services running. If a site is found to be vulnerability-free, it qualifies to post the Hacker Safe certification on its site. Retail Web sites are scanned daily, and, should a vulnerability show up, they have 72 hours to fix the flaw or lose the Hacker Safe designation.

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