Cybercriminals and their tactics are continually evolving but one thing remains the same: the retail industry is still one of their top targets.

The Retail Industry

Digital transformation in the retail industry (or in any other industry)is a two-edged sword: a potential modern step towards digital advancement on one hand and on the other comes an infinite opportunity for risks and security-impacting errors.

E-commerce, for instance, is evidence that retailers are already advancing towards digitalization along with several advanced technologies. This makes consumer’s purchasing experiences easier, convenient, and more cost-efficient. However, unfortunately, e-commerce is also one of the main targets for cyber-attacks because of the rich-pickings of consumers’ personally identifiable information (PII) required to complete transactions.

With that, when a retailer is hacked, it means that aside from the retailer company alone, this would also result in potentially millions of individuals falling victim to the hacker – having their information stored and sold on the dark web, ready to be merged with other data sets to build up useful profiles for the general public.

The worst thing is, attacks like these are not just bad on a personal level for each affected customers, but will also severely damage your brand’s reputation, sometimes irretrievably.

Given this, along with the volume of cyber-attacks that occur daily, it is utterly crucial that retailers step up their security game.

How can cybersecurity help my retail business?

Reports show that 77% of consumers believe that cybersecurity and data privacy is the 3rd most important factor when selecting a retailer, having the product quality and its availability as first and second most important factors, respectively.

Moreover, approximately 40% of consumers also say they are willing to increase their spending to 20% or more if their primary retailer were to assure them of their cybersecurity practices and policies.

In the same report, it also shows that a robust cybersecurity system and transparent data privacy can drive a significant increase of 5.38% estimated impact on revenue.

What does this mean? The statistics proves that when you invest and adopt to cybersecurity technologies and practices, you may leverage cybersecurity to drive value and growth while ensuring protection for your retail business at the same time!

What can I do?

If you’re looking to protect your retail business from cyber-attacks, maintain compliance, as well as leveraging it to drive more value and growth for your business, there are tons of steps you can take, including the following:

Educate. Most breaches and data exposure stems from human error. The most common example is when an employee accidentally or unknowingly downloads a malicious file that would release malware into the internal network, which can slowly leak private and confidential company documents.

Without creating awareness and providing a deeper understanding of best practices through cyberliteracy, any threat mitigation tool or firewall is rendered useless. The threats are coming from your own people.

Training your employees with cybersecurity practices lets them be aware of the role that they have to play in making the company cyber secure.

Invest. Having a trustworthy cybersecurity system and a team is a strong selling point and a differentiating factor when it comes to customer/client acquisition and retention. Guaranteeing that all company stakeholders’ privacy and sensitive information is protected is priceless.

Yet, this does not come in “free trial” bundles online. That is why increasing your IT funding can lead to leaps and bounds in cybersecurity for your retail company.

Consolidate. Cyber defense is about having an integrated set of tools that work together to prevent attacks. Streamlining your cybersecurity solutions can help your company minimize vulnerabilities.

Partner. In the global competitive landscape—or even in just your local one—your competitive advantage will ultimately hinge on how well you leverage technology and innovation to provide better, cheaper, and faster service.

Teaming up with a cybersecurity services provider tailored to your specific needs, you can leverage an MSP vendor to grow your capabilities, and use your internal IT staff to do more than simply maintain the productivity status quo.

Emerging digital technologies and services are redefining the retail industry.
Retailers must also contend with evolving and increasingly complex cyber threats. Investing in cybersecurity practices and technologies are no longer an option. Recognizing that cybersecurity is not a core competency, retailers are encouraged to partner with experienced service providers that offer optimized managed network security solutions and ongoing threat intelligence.

Data Connect Technologies Pte Ltd is a dynamic ICT and Services Provider with over 15 years of experience in providing excellent IT support to companies all over the world. Got problems in your security posture? Or you’re just not sure about your IT security status?

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