72% of retail executives have witnessed a rise in the increase in hacking attempts – don’t be one of them, says Cisco.

Retail sales may be under threat in the UK as consumer confidence wavers, but the prospects of hitting the shops has never been so appealing. With cyber-criminals, that is.

Find out more here in Retail Week’s new digital briefing in association with Cisco.

“The retail industry is a top target for cyber-attacks, and the hackers are more than keeping pace with digitisation”

The retail industry is a top target for cyber-attacks, and the hackers are more than keeping pace with digitisation.

Recent research carried out by Retail Week found that 72% of retail executives have witnessed an exponential rise in the increase in hacking attempts in the past two to three years, with 64% of those witnessing this increase experiencing a breach in their own firm.

You can read more in Retail Week’s new digital briefing – in association with Cisco – by clicking here.

Cisco infographic

This is worrying in itself. But when those statistics are compared with consumers quizzed as part of the same research, 72% said they would be unlikely to do business again with a retailer that suffered a breach involving personal data.

It is clear therefore, that cyber security has a material impact on a brand, and ultimately the bottom line.

So why is the industry under siege in this way? Here are the top five reasons cyber attackers have their eyes firmly on retail brands:

  1. The guaranteed prize of valuable customer and credit card data can be sold easily on the dark web if captured.
  2. Easy to predict peaks where a blackmail threat is likely to work (who would want their customer facing a website down on Black Friday, for example?).
  3. Complex labyrinth of IT systems and software connecting an ever-increasing number of internet-connected endpoints, not designed with holistic security in mind.
  4. High labour turnover across the industry and reliance on contractors, combined with often weak policies and processes to govern internal security exposes risk.
  5. Lack of focus at board level – spotlight is on market share with security often an afterthought, a ‘tick-in-the-box’ addressed by point solutions.

So, how can the industry fight back? Download the new Retail Week report ‘Tackling data breaches in modern retail’, sponsored by Cisco, to learn how retailers can avoid creating the next cyber-hack headline.

 

Jacques Schooler, retail cyber security lead, Cisco 

jacques schooler