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Cyber-breaches lead to real loss of business

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The risk of customers shunning a brand that has suffered a cyber-attack is very real, according to a recent study by Centrify.
Results of the study reveal that 66% of adults in the US are at least somewhat likely to stop doing business with a company that has suffered a cyber-breach.
That number is even higher in the UK, where 75% said they are somewhat likely to stop doing business after a hack.
The reality is that data breaches and other fraudulent activity can adversely impact a company’s brand reputation and, ultimately, a consumer’s loyalty to that brand.  The good news is that with each breach or incident, organizations are becoming more aware of their vulnerabilities and taking action to remediate those risks, says Matt Tengwall, vice-president ad GM: security and cyber solutions for banking and retail markets at Verint Systems.
He says terms such as ATM skimming, identity theft, data breaches, scams, kiting, and phishing are becoming all too prevalent in today’s society.
“In just the last five years we’ve seen large, well-known retail and financial services organisations attacked by hackers and other nefarious individuals looking to steal personal information, transactional data or even funds from those that do business with these organisations,” he says.
“CBS News recently reported that instances of ATM skimming rose 546% from 2014 to 2015 in the US.  And, according to Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) there were 781 data breaches recorded in 2015 in the US, representing the second highest year on record since ITRC began tracking breaches in 2005.
“This rising trend becomes even more concerning when you pair it with the findings of the Centrify study that show consumers are likely to stop doing business with a company that has suffered a cyber-breach. The bad news is that criminals continue to become more sophisticated in their approach, so it’s imperative that organizations explore and adopt new tools and technology to address the evolving security landscape,” says Tengwall.
He adds that a convergence is underway that will forever change the way we look at security. Over the last decade, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and a demand for more mobile capabilities have changed the way people live, work and play. Often the same devices we use for personal activities are also the devices we use to conduct business. This – along with society’s voracious appetite for anytime, anywhere access – makes for a highly connected and vulnerable environment.
“This is true in many market sectors, but especially in financial markets,” Tengwall says. “As the need for connectivity, accessibility and interoperability increases, so does the exposure to potential threats. Where threats were once limited to physical acts, today’s citizens and businesses are exposed to things such as network breaches, identity theft, malware attacks and social media sabotage, just to name a few.
“For this reason, there is a greater need for collaboration and communication across the organization. As a result, lines are blurring between those responsible for electronic, physical security, IT and cyber security – and a transition is happening from simply protecting assets to managing complex and dynamic risks across the entire enterprise,” he adds.
“In some cases, organizational structures are shifting to better align resources with the need to protect people, physical assets, networks and valuable corporate and client data.
“To address this evolving security landscape and to help ensure business continuity around the globe, companies need a comprehensive security solution that takes into account their security needs from all angles – now called convergence,” says Tengwall.
He says this strategy must incorporate solutions that provide the needed situational awareness to help predict and identify threats in real time, as well forensic capabilities to enhance investigations and increase response times to situations.
Information sharing and collaboration among cyber, IT and physical security personnel are critical to a successful strategy because they help tear down the traditional barriers and silos that often lead to security missteps.