Digital transformation outstrips cyber defences

The fast pace of digital transformation is outstripping the cyber security capabilities of UK businesses, according to a new report from KPMG.

A survey of more than 1,800 chief information security officers (CISOs) and 2,000 consumers - including 100 CISOs and more than 100 consumers in the UK - found that, despite the evident risk to customer relationships of a breach of financial data, more than half (55 per cent) of UK CISOs prioritise financial loss and reputational risk in the event of a breach above the impact of such an incident on customer relationships.

More than a quarter (27 per cent) of CISOs said they did not feel they receive adequate financial support from their organisations to meet their objectives, with nearly a third (31 per cent) also saying that businesses were not investing an adequate amount into cyber security.

More than half of UK CISOs (52 per cent) said they appreciated the potential for cyber security to support business growth, while almost the same proportion (49 per cent) felt it is not currently engaged enough with the digital transformation agenda.

Customers were evidently more concerned about how such a cyber security breach would affect them personally.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of customers surveyed said they had first-hand experience of their financial information being compromised, while a slim majority (51 per cent) reported concerns about their technology and devices being compromised.

The majority (57 per cent) of UK consumer respondents believe there should be additional security and privacy measures embedded into the design of their connected devices. That compares to around a fifth (22 per cent) of respondents saying that they would limit the use of sensitive, personal data on their devices.

Furthermore, nearly half (46 per cent) of consumers believe their financial institutions have full or joint responsibility for ensuring that mobile devices used for banking are secure.

Paul Taylor, cyber security partner at KPMG UK, said: “Consumers have a much better awareness of cyber risk and how their information can be compromised, this increased awareness correlates to their expectations when it comes to digital security.

“Businesses should see this as an opportunity to redefine their relationship and build their trust with consumers. That can start with realigning business priorities to show that safeguarding personal information is taken very seriously, but also demonstrate that their investment in security is keeping pace with technological change.”

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