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36% of consumers expect to be victims of online ID fraud in the future

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Peter-Turner

Peter-Turner40% of consumers hold online service providers responsible for protecting their online identity

Research findings published today by Experian Consumer Services reveals that 36% of Britons today believe that online identity fraud or information theft is unavoidable in the future. The study also reveals the opportunity for online service providers to take more accountability in this area with 40% of survey respondents believing that responsibility should lie with their service provider.

Conducted amongst 2,249 adults across the UK, the results highlight consumer attitudes towards online identity fraud and the role online service providers play (in the following sectors: Mobile, Banking, Insurance, Gaming, Internet Service providers).

Despite over a third of consumers expressing significant concerns about the risk of identity theft, the results suggest that many still do not implement well established best practice online security measures, such as using different passwords for online accounts. Two-fifths of respondents (40%) believe that online service providers should be responsible for protecting consumers’ online identity with just under a half (47%) believing it is their personal responsibility. The research also showed that victims of Internet crime are slightly more likely to allocate accountability to service providers than non-victims (43% compared to 39%).

In the case of protecting and recovering data following the loss of a mobile device specifically, opinions about who should protect and recover their information are more fragmented. Just under a fifth (19%) of respondents currently believe accountability should lie with the mobile network provider, followed by their ISP (17%), companies holding their personal data (14%) and insurance companies (13%). 30% of consumers believe that none of the service providers would fulfil this role.

Consumers also associate varying levels of perceived harm from identity theft depending on the different online platforms they are using. For example, information misuse following online banking is perceived to have the greatest personal impact at 87%, followed by the risk of an e-mail account being hacked and messages sent out to their network (80%). General Internet use has a perceived risk of 76%.

Gamers believe they face the lowest perceived risks (54%) should a personal avatar or online identity be taken over by fraudsters, in-spite of the significant amount of personal information shared in creating such characters and online profiles.

During qualitative anonymous interviews, when online service providers were asked what was being done to minimise risks surrounding identity theft for their customers, most discussed authentication, encryption, storage and some proactive technologies, with an emphasis on transaction security and log-in protections. Very few highlighted processes or technologies to assist customers that are victims of identity fraud or information misuse

Peter Turner, Managing Director with Experian Consumer Services UK&I, commented: “The truth is that both consumers and online service providers have a role to play in protecting personal information shared online as a lapse by either party will result in an increased risk of online identity theft or fraud. Some online service providers are already rising to the challenge and providing services to help protect their customers. However all online service providers should be asking themselves what their role is in helping to protect consumers from identity theft.

“Taking a proactive approach to the protection of customers’ online identities, enhances customer relationships and builds trust in brands, which is extremely valuable to brand managers. Customers want to know that the processes and support exist, should they ever need to call on them”, continued Peter Turner.

Below is a summary of the key research findings for each sector:

Banking

  • 86% of respondents believe the consequences of identity theft when banking online could be significant. Interestingly, a smaller proportion (65%) are concerned about the misuse or theft of their personal information as a result of using online banking platforms
  • While the vast majority of survey respondents (89%) logged out of online banking once they had finished on the site, 17% accessed online banking from a shared computer every month, and one in ten had done so from an open Wi-Fi hotspot, which is of a significantly higher risk than a private network.

Internet Service Providers

  • Consumers feel more secure when using their ISP to access the Internet, over other methods. 47% of respondents were at least “fairly concerned” about the misuse or theft of personal information when using their ISP. This figure rises to 61% when they are connecting in other ways, such as through public Wi-Fi.
  • ISPs are the second highest ranking industry expected to protect and recover personal information in the event of a lost mobile device.

Mobile

  • Between a quarter and a third of mobile Internet users are showing signs of negligence in accessing websites or sharing information online. For example, on average every month 32% of mobile Internet users connect to a wireless network that requires no password, and 27% download an application without checking the safety of the developer. These risks represent a significant challenge for service providers.
  • From the study, 69% of mobile users consider that the act of online identity theft or misuse of personal information when using a mobile phone would carry some significance for them.

Gaming

  • In the survey, less than a third of online gamers recognise a risk in buying or storing data on games, and only 15% are very concerned about data risk when buying or accessing online games, while another 15% are totally unconcerned
  • A fifth (20%) access online gaming accounts from public computers, 27% from a shared computer, and 33% from a mobile device, raising the risk of insecure Wi-Fi connections in public places. One quarter (24%) access gaming accounts from insecure public hotspots. Despite these risky log-ins, 22% admit to never logging out of their accounts manually at all.

Insurance

  • 25% of respondents stated they had insurance for a mobile phone, but only 10% have claimed insurance for tablet devices
  • Device insurance is still something that only a small percentage of users hold, with mandatory insurance, such as home and car, being far more prevalent. This type of insurance is still significant when considering the level of Internet users that protect against identity theft. Mintel (2012) estimates that only 6% of people have taken steps to protect their ID, the same as those that take out personal insurance against accidents in the workplace.

For the full Experian Consumer Identity Risk 2013 research report, please [email protected]

 

 

 

 

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Investing into a more sustainable future: changing businesses from the inside out

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Investing into a more sustainable future: changing businesses from the inside out 1

By Shawn Welch, Vice President and General Manager of Hi-Cone Worldwide

As industries across the world are facing unprecedented uncertainty and anticipating the economic implications of the current health crisis, business leaders have the unique opportunity to seize the chance to make lasting, positive changes and re-interpret the business challenges in a positive way – without forgetting or minimising the toll the pandemic has taken. When trying to identify a way forward, the future must be sustainable. We must take this opportunity to find a more sustainable way for businesses and manufacturers to survive.

Environmental and economic concern have only increased the gap on what consumers want – more sustainability – and how much progress businesses can make without risking their viability. However, rather than giving up on ambitious goals, maybe we need to reframe the way we look at sustainability. So far, businesses have tended to react to consumer demands, often without looking into the long-term implications and research-based due diligence one would expect. Therefore, now is the right time to be more deliberate: to continue on the path towards a truly sustainable ‘new normal’, businesses need to consider the bottom line impact more than ever before and truly invest in changing their business models to become more sustainable.

Shawn Welch

Shawn Welch

To meet the UN’s ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, businesses ultimately must thrive – working towards establishing a circular economy remains crucial. Instead of a linear ‘extract, use, dispose’ approach, materials need to be respected and re-used as many times as possible, which is only possible if products are designed for re-use, re-manufacturing, repair or restarting. After all, any and all consumption comes at a price. In manufacturing, processes draw on resources to produce items that, once they have served their purpose, become surplus to requirements. Yet, to ignore this is to take an incomplete view of sustainability: instead, materials are extracted from waste to re-enter production processes. Reuse and recycling initiatives are central to this and great strides have been made in raising awareness of this need. The full environmental cost of production and consumption includes the choice of materials themselves but also the level of carbon emissions generated, and energy consumed.

Once products and processes have redesigned for a circular approach, this initial investment will often easily be recouped, especially if we start with looking at the facts when starting this crucial process. To make the Circular Economy a focus for any business very often means changing the business model. Here, investing in research and development is vital. In the packaging industry, for example, we are seeing that customers and consumers are increasingly more focused on sustainability, and that surprising changes can unlock societal and business value. Through minimising a product’s carbon footprint or making recycling easier for consumers, lifecycle-assessment-based product redesigns or using recycled plastics instead of larger quantities of cardboard, companies are identifying these more creative options and enjoying the long-lasting benefits that come with implementing them. In any case, leadership is key. A research-driven approach gets everyone on-board and seeing management committing to these goals as part of business plans helps cement these. At a recent Reuters Responsible Business Summit virtual panel, I was part of an interesting conversation. Here, Yolanda Malone, Vice President Global R&D Snacks PKG, PepsiCo, discussed how leaders have to drive the behaviours within the organisation and the tone for the culture. She explained that her sustainable plastics vision is a world where plastics never become waste. Only through putting the mantra of “reduce, recycle, rethink and reinvent” can we bring circular products to consumer. She stressed that, if we don’t reinvent, we will fall back into old habits.

Of course, consumer behaviours play a part and the easier the solution, the more likely consumers will get behind it. End consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of packaging. So, to be truly circular, we need to take into account the entire lifecycle. Mindset change needs to continue to happen. Consumers need to be clear about what their choices are. To achieve this, we must change our businesses from the inside out, allowing for close collaboration inside and outside of our organisations. Other organisations – such as governments and recycling organisations – will need to be involved in businesses’ efforts, multiplying the impact our investments will have. We must address all aspects of sustainability and, for example, have better recycling, a focus on infrastructure and emphasis on consumer education. To recover, reuse and recycle, the R&D must be in place and dedicated to sustainability. Partnerships are important as we, as other leading global companies realise, cannot do this alone. Collaboration is key when investing in a more sustainable, more Circular, future.

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Securing Information Throughout the Supply Chain – Preventing Supplier Vulnerabilities 

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Securing Information Throughout the Supply Chain – Preventing Supplier Vulnerabilities  2

By Adam Strange, Data Classification Specialist, HelpSystems 

The financial services sector is experiencing extreme disruption coupled with rapid innovation as established institutions strive to become more agile and meet evolving customer demand. At the same time, new market entrants compete fiercely for customers. Increasing operational flexibility, through the deployment of cloud infrastructure or via digital transformation initiatives, is critical for future competitiveness but it has also driven regulatory and security challenges, particularly around working with suppliers.

That said, the benefits of a diverse, interconnected supply chain are compelling: agility, speed, and cost reduction all weigh on the positive side of the equation, prompting financial institutions to pursue close, collaborative relationships with suppliers, often numbering in the hundreds or thousands.

Weakness in the supply chain

On the negative side is the increased cyber threat when enterprises expose their networks to their supply chain. In our modern interconnected digital ecosystems, most financial organisations have many supply chain dependencies and it only takes one of these to have cybersecurity vulnerabilities to bring a business to its knees.

As a result, breaches originating in third parties are common and costly – a Ponemon Institute/IBM study found that breaches being caused by a third party was the top factor that amplified the cost of a breach, adding an average of $370,000 to the breach cost.

Concern around the supply chain was also evidenced in a recent report we have just issued, whereby we interviewed 250 CISOs and CIOs from financial institutions about the cybersecurity challenges they face and nearly half (46%) said that cybersecurity weaknesses in the supply chain had the biggest potential to cause the most damage in the next 12 months.

But sharing information with suppliers is essential for the supply chain to function. Most financial services organisations go to great lengths to secure intellectual property, personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive data internally, yet when this information is shared across the supply chain, does it get the same robust attention?

Further amplified by COVID-19

Financial service organisations have always been a key target for cyber attacks.  Our research showed that since COVID-19 hit, the risk has elevated further, with 45% of the respondents seeing increased cybersecurity attacks during this period. Likewise, hackers are rejecting frontal assaults on well-defended walls in favour of infiltrating networks via vulnerabilities in suppliers.

But financial services organisations must maintain reputations and ensure customer trust. Firms are keen to demonstrate that they are protecting customer assets, providing an ultra-reliable service and working with trustworthy partners. So, what can they do to better protect their supplier ecosystem?

At the very least, they need to ensure basic controls are implemented around their suppliers’ IT infrastructure.  For example, they must ensure suppliers maintain a secure infrastructure with a minimum of Cyber Essentials or the equivalent US CIS certification controls. Cyber Essentials defines a set of controls which, when implemented, provide organisations with basic protection from the most prevalent forms of threats, focusing on threats which require low levels of attacker skill, and which are widely available online.

Likewise, they need to ensure good information management controls are in place and this begins with accurate information/data classification. After all, how can you apply appropriate controls to your information unless you know what it is and where it is?

How ISO27001 helps organisations put in place a data classification process

The international standard on information security, ISO27001, describes the basic ingredients for data classification to ensure the data receives the appropriate level of protection in accordance with its importance to the organisation. It comprises three basic elements:

  • Classification of data – in terms of legal requirements, value, criticality and sensitivity to unauthorised disclosure or modification.
  • Labelling of data – an appropriate set of procedures for information labelling should be developed and implemented in accordance with the organisation’s information classification scheme.
  • Handling of assets – procedures for the handling of assets developed and implemented in accordance with the organisation’s information classification scheme.

Adoption of this methodology will help financial services organisations and their supply chain take a more data-centric information security approach. However, there are essentially four key stages for implementing a data risk assurance supply chain approach and these are:

 1. Approval – in organisations with complex supply chains senior management, vendor management, procurement and information security will all need to support a robust risk-based information management approach. Details of previous incidents and their impact alongside the business benefits will be essential to gain stakeholder buy in.

 2. Preparation – Organisations should start with Tier 1 suppliers and initially identify the contracts with the highest business impact/risk. They should identify and record information repositories and the data that they contain together with the responsible business owners. Define a business taxonomy based on information categories of that data and include supply chain factors such as what information categories are shared.

For example, they need to understand the business impact of compromise against each of the information categories. Have any suppliers suffered security incidents? What assurance mechanisms are in place? Once all this information is collated the organisation can create a data classification policy and define a set of controls for each data category.

 3. Discovery – Select each data category and identify the associated contracts. Then prioritise the data category based on the risk assessment and verify that the data security controls and arrangements for each data category and contract meet the overall requirements. Once complete, hand over the contract for inclusion in the vendor management cycle.

4. Embed process – the overall objective is to embed information risk management into the procurement lifecycle from start to finish. Therefore, whenever a new contract is created there are a number of actions required which embed data risk at each stage of the bid, tender, procurement, evaluation, implementation and termination phases of the contract.

To summarise, organisations should start by researching the information risk and security frameworks such as ISO27001 and others. They should then focus on defining their business taxonomy and data categories together with the business impact of compromise to help develop a data classification scheme. Finally, they should implement the data classification scheme and embed data risk management into the procurement lifecycle processes from start to finish. By effectively embedding data risk management and categorisation into their procurement and vendor management processes, they are preventing their suppliers’ vulnerabilities becoming their own and are more effectively securing data in the supply chain.

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Deloitte: Middle East organizations need to rethink their workforce in the wake of COVID-19

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Deloitte: Middle East organizations need to rethink their workforce in the wake of COVID-19 3

Organizations in the Middle East have had to take immediate actions in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as shifting to remote and virtual work, implementing new ways of working and redirecting the workforce on critical activities. According to Deloitte’s 10th annual 2020 Middle East Human Capital Trends report, “The social enterprise at work: Paradox as a path forward,” organizations now need to think about how to sustain these actions by embedding them into their organizational culture.

“COVID-19 has created a clarifying moment for work and the workforce. Organizations that expand their focus on worker well-being, from programs adjacent to work to designing well-being into the work itself, will help their workers not only feel their best but perform at their best. Doing so will strengthen the tie between well-being and organizational outcomes, drive meaningful work, and foster a greater sense of belonging overall,” said Ghassan Turqieh, Consulting Partner, Human Capital, Deloitte Middle East.

According to the Deloitte report, many organizations in the Middle East made quick arrangements to engage with employees in the wake of the pandemic through frequent communications, multiple webinars where senior leaders addressed employee concerns, virtual employee events, manager check-ins, periodic calls and other targeted interactions with the workforce.

The report also discussed how UAE and KSA governments have reexamined work policies and practices, amended regulations and introduced COVID-19 initiatives to support companies and the workforce in the public and private sectors. Flexible and remote working, team-building and engagement activities, well-ness programs, recognition awards and modern workspaces are among the many things that are now adding to the employee experience.

Key findings from the Deloitte global report include:

  • Only 17% of respondents are making significant investments in reskilling to support their AI strategy with only 12% using AI primarily to replace workers;
  • 27% of respondents have clear policies and practices to manage the ethical challenges resulting from the future of work despite 85% of respondents saying the future of work raises ethical challenges;
  • Three-quarters of leaders are expecting to source new skills and capabilities through reskilling, but only 45% are rewarding workers for the development of new skills; and
  • Only 45% of respondents are prepared or very prepared to take advantage of the alternative workforce to access key capabilities despite gig workers being likely to comprise 43% of the U.S. workforce this year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Worker well-being is a top priority today, and similarly to the rest of the world, companies in the Middle East are focusing their efforts to redesign work around well-being by understanding workforce well-being needs,” said Rania Abu Shukur, Director, Human Capital, Consulting, Deloitte Middle East.

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