Privacy concerns will top the corporate agenda for many businesses this year, David Ferbrache, KPMG's technical director of cyber security practice, predicts.
“The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is less than 18 months away and privacy has suddenly made it to the top of the corporate agenda, not just in Europe," Ferbrache said. "The GDPR tilts the scales in the direction of the European citizen, requiring explicit consent to process, store and transfer their personal information. Data breaches suddenly become more transparent with strict notification requirements, and potential for punitive fines of up to 4 percent of global turnover for the most serious events.”
More countries are beginning to regulate cyberspace, often with conflicting and very different approaches, Ferbrache said. Companies struggle to deal with data restrictions and various compliance requirements as data crosses borders. "Data centric security has never mattered more,” he said, adding that entire countries have been targeted by cyber attacks.
“The Mirai botnet has shown just how damaging distributed denial of service attacks can become, as we saw the largest ever attacks in autumn," Ferbrache said. "Attacks of this scale risk destabilizing the internet and the infrastructure which supports it."
Although cybercrime emerged several years ago, the threat is on pace to become even more sophisticated in 2017, Ferbrache predicts.
"(We) will see an industrialization of cybercrime exploiting cheap labor and increasingly sophisticated tools for bespeaking attacks," he said. "CEO frauds and business email compromises will continue to dominate the landscape but with increasingly sophisticated targeting of firms and their employees by criminals who scour social media for intelligence. Ransomware continues to make criminals money, and will become smarter and more targeted as the year progresses supported by a crime as a service underground economy."
Ferbrache also made other predictions about cybersecurity concerns that will become dominant this year as cyber attackers become more savvy. He predicts criminals will aim to exploit weakness in the international financial network. Fortunately, cloud services have taken steps to beef up security, Ferbrache said.
KPMG has offices worldwide, including in the Balkans.
KPMG cyber security director lists privacy as top corporate concern for 2017
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