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.

Read the new IBM report: Smart things call for smart risk management

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