Viewing Cybersecurity From the Consumer’s Perspective

In recent years, cybersecurity has become a major disrupter across the globe. In a business landscape that depends on digitization and accelerated transactions, cybersecurity is crucial to both providers and consumers. Those consumers must consider cyber resilience when shopping for services or products, even if a vulnerability doesn’t directly affect the device itself.

Shifting the Consumer’s Mindset Toward Cybersecurity

Take the Mirai botnet, for example: The malware was used to compromise other users, not the owners of the cameras it originally infected. This represents a significant shift in the consumer’s mindset. In the past, individuals shopping for appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines evaluated products based on specific characteristics related to the functions they were designed to perform. Risk was calculated according to the value the asset would provide and its effectiveness — cyber resilience never entered the discussion.

Nowadays, many appliances are connected to the internet and require security measures to protect them from cyberthreats. Furthermore, users who conduct digital transactions reveal huge amounts of personal and financial data that cybercriminals covet. Vendors and consumers alike must consider data privacy implications when providing or purchasing a product or service. Many directives and regulations, such as the Europeon Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), aim to govern how organizations handle customer data.

Everyone Has a Stake in Security

In this complex ecosystem of connected devices, consumers need to know that they, their vendors and their fellow users are secure. This puts even more pressure on providers, who must consider all the ways in which their products could be compromised while remaining competitive in a fast-moving market. Vendors might consider security measures such as requiring users to complete a two-factor authentication process to make transactions or access their products.

The bottom line is that all parties involved in a purchase — the vendor, the consumer and, if applicable, the financial institution facilitating the transaction — have a stake in the security of a given product. If either the provider or consumer fails to follow security best practices, the entire ecosystem is at risk.

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Domenico Raguseo

Technical Sales and Solutions Leader in Europe, IBM Security

Domenico Raguseo is currently Manager of Technical Sales in Europe for the Security Systems Division. He has over 15 years of management experience in different areas. Domenico also cooperates with several Universities by teaching Service Management, Cloud Computing. Since 2010 Domenico is member of Educational Scientific Council for the Master in IT Governance at the University of Rome La Sapienza (http://w3.uniroma1.it/mastersicurezza/index.php/master-itgov/direzione). Domenico got in IBM a certification as IBM Master Inventor for the multiple patents and publications in several disciplines (Business Processes, ROI, Messages and Collaborations, Networking). Finally, he is speaker on Information Security Management, Service Management, Cloud computing, Energy Optimization and Smarter Planet in several national and international events.