Connected consumers demand cyber security

We live in a digital age, where today’s consumers are more connected than ever before and organisations are driven to bring more and more disruptive technologies to market. This disruption has enabled consumers to do more in every aspect of their lives. But with more of people’s lives being transacted, shared, stored online – privacy and security concerns are increasingly coming to the fore.

Global leadership surveys, over the past few years, consistently put cyber security front of mind for CEOs and the board. However, with an increasing number of data security breaches on an almost daily basis – it is increasingly at the forefront of consumers’ minds as well.

The KPMG Consumer Loss Barometer surveyed over 1,802 security executives and of 2,151 consumers across 24 countries. It found that today’s connected consumer is questioning how their personal data is gathered and handled is questioned.

Of the Australian respondents:

• 75 percent were concerned about the apps they use.
• 58 percent percent were worried about the security of the Cloud.
• 70 percent were concerned about Wifi,
• 77 percent were concerned about the Internet of Things (IoT).

When it came to perhaps the most sensitive of sectors, financial services, consumers recognised that it was more than data that was at risk. In fact, 51 percent of Australian survey respondents reported that one of their personal financial accounts (checking, savings, money market, investment, credit card) had been compromised.

However, they had is an evolving attitude towards responsibility when it came to device security. More than half (53 percent) said it should be their responsibility as account holder, 32 percent believed the responsibility was shared– and just 12 percent said the financial institution was solely at fault.

That said, consumers are demanding preventative and remedial action when it comes to cyber security. Three-quarters expect additional security designed into connected devices – making security more than an add on – it’s an essential part of any digital product offering. The great majority, 96.8 percent, said they would be willing to remain with their financial services provider as long as it took appropriate action following a cyber-security breach.

So what do these findings mean for businesses building products reliant on these technologies? Cyber security needs to be included in every aspect of the digital experience for a customer. The organisations that integrate security into their new digital experiences are the ones that are likely to win in then new digitised future.

This means that boards need to be aware of how cyber security, privacy and risks are handled by their organisations and the impacts to their shareholders, stakeholders and businesses, And beyond consumer sentiment – there are a number of regulatory developments which are also shaping the Australian landscape when it comes to Cyber security. The changes to the Privacy Act with the introduction of mandatory breach notification and APRA’s new CPS234 standard being applied to financial services.

When it comes to Cyber Security – the only constant now is change.

An organisation’s security role is evolving – moving from protecting the organisation to protecting the digital transformation and the customer experience. If there is a security issue, a customer centric incident response in most cases will actually lead to retention of customers and a better brand perception post incident.

Organisations need to strive for a balance between the growth and customer trust agendas. Digital transformation programs must include cyber security by design, not as a stage-gate at the completion of the project as a checkbox to go live.

Today, consumers are both more digitised and more aware of privacy and security issues. The delivery of new experiences and the creation of new markets are driving a need for more enlightened and organisation-wide approach to cyber security.

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