KPMG reveals top cybersecurity trends in 2019

At least 5% of the total direct cost of crime to retail businesses comes from cyber attacks.

A report by consultancy firm KPMG highlights some of the key cybersecurity concerns for 2019 – and what businesses can do in response.

Cybersecurity is a key concern for co-ops and credit unions dealing with members’ data and poses a significant threat. For example, at least 5% of the total direct cost of crime to retail businesses comes from cyber attacks.

Research by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) found that retailers are spending 17% more on cybersecurity than last year, bringing the total to £162m. Around 80% of retailers told the trade body they had seen an increase in cyberattacks.

The National Cyber Security Centre has been working with BRC to develop a cybersecurity toolkit to help retailers prepare for and respond to attacks. The guide warns that cybersecurity cannot be addressed by the IT department alone but requires a collective response.

Credit unions have also been struck: last year Sheffield Credit Union had the personal data of 15,000 members stolen.

In repsonse to such threats, KPMG suggests businesses automate tasks that are manual and time-consuming and remove some of the repetitive aspects of collecting and analysing data on intruder activity.

Artificial intelligence could also help guard against security incidents and assess system wide vulnerabilities, says the report. This could be done through API based services, open-source software or a packaged product.

The consultancy is advising businesses to develop a framework of best practices. It warns that full engagement across the organisation is required as security professionals aim to embed privacy into business operations and customer engagement.

Another trend is the convergence of fraud prevention and cyber security as businesses aim to tailor products to customers’ needs. This needs to be followed by new and improved strategies for collecting and leveraging client data to understand customer behaviour and recognise anomalies as well as educate customers about preventing fraudulent activity.

KPMG expects to see a move away from passwords in 2019 with companies employing advanced identification methods such as face ID or voice recognition instead. Therefore, the consultancy is advising businesses to consider trading passwords for biometric-enabled apps.

While some enterprises are cutting back on personnel as they acquire new software, KPMG stresses that no single software can tackle all issues. Companies need to allocate a greater portion of their budgets to the human component of cybersecurity, adds the report.