Consumers are grasping risks

by Mark Rowe

Consumers are now grasping the risks they face from data breaches, it is suggested from a survey by a cyber-security product company. In an F-Secure survey, 71 per cent of respondents say they feel that they will become a victim of cybercrime or identity theft, while 73pc expressed similar fears about their children.

Kristian Järnefelt, Executive Vice President, Consumer Cyber Security at F-Secure described the findings as ‘absolutely staggering’ and said it shows many people are seeing the damage of cyber crime or identity theft first-hand.

The survey found that half of the consumers have had a family member affected by some form cybercrime (51pc). Malware or viruses are the most common threats encountered followed by credit card fraud then SMS/call fraud. One out of four users said that they have been impacted by several forms of cybercrime.

Järnefelt said: “It’s almost impossible to avoid using the internet in 2019. Cloud services are now a norm, yet we don’t always know what information about us has been collected, and where it’s stored. F-Secure’s B2B cyber security teams are already seeing many of these cloud services or businesses becoming lucrative targets for the criminals to steal massive amounts of consumer data.”

Businesses have increasingly accepted that the question is not whether they will be breached but when, the cyber firm says. This means that even consumers who practice excellent cyber security can suffer the loss of personal data.

Järnefelt said: “Once personal information has been leaked, it is impossible to get it back. And you may not be aware of potential issues for years. It is a matter of speed in most of the cases. If consumers can react fast enough, criminals may well find their stolen goods are useless.”

Traditional cybercrime is still more prevalent than identity theft or account take-over, yet latter types of attacks keep increasing, the firm adds. A comprehensive approach to consumer cyber security is necessary, it says.

Antero Norkio, Vice President, Product Management at F-Secure said: “Consumers deserve the same complete protection we offer our business customers but tailored to how we as individuals use the internet. “We need to cover the full cyber security process from preventing threats from happening to adding new detection and response capabilities to know you’re under a targeted attack.”

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