Retailers are embracing and adapting to digital innovations to keep pace with rapidly-evolving customer demands. Online and mobile purchases continue to increase exponentially. According to Deloitte, 58% of consumers have used their mobile device to browse an online shopping website or app. In fact, double-digit growth of e-commerce is expected globally until 2020, as retailers continue to expand and enhance the digital customer experience and the boundaries between physical and digital shopping experiences become increasingly blurred.

It’s no surprise therefore that retailers represent a very attractive, and lucrative, target for cyberattacks, topping the league of most-attacked industries. U.S. companies and government agencies suffered a record 1,093 data breaches last year, a 40 percent increase from 2015, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. [Bloomberg] Phishing attacks in 2016 exposed information such as social security numbers, user account information, and passwords. A lack in security can cause you to loose customers’ trust and loyalty and cause irreparable damage to your brand. Retailers need to plan to secure the entire value chain to mitigate risk and protect themselves, their partners and customers. This means every store, channel for customer interaction, distribution center, and all touch points across the supply chain.

The Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report, highlights some of the newest cyber threats introduced by digitization, and the well-organized adversaries focused on exploiting them.

Our research identified retailers’ key areas of cybersecurity vulnerability and concern:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 retail organizations have experienced loss of revenue due to an attack.
  • Retail organizations perceive targeted attacks as their highest risks (followed by insider exfiltration).
  • 54% of retail organizations have managed public scrutiny due to a security breach (other industries – 49%)
  • Only 52% of retail organizations perceive their security infrastructure is very up-to-date and constantly upgraded with the best tech (other industries – 59%).
  • 1 in 3 retail organizations reported a severe data breach caused systems to be down for more than 9 hours.
  • Only 61% of retail organizations strongly agree that they are able to maintain full PCI compliance

These statistics highlight how cybersecurity must be a key factor during your journey to digitally transforming your retail business, and ingrained at every stage. Just as you would ensure that your brick-and-mortar store has locks and security systems of the highest quality, your digital storefront must have the same levels of security, if not higher. If consumers do not trust your digital storefront with their data, or if that trust is broken because of lackluster website performance, or worse, a data breach, the cost to rebuild that trust is incredibly high. Looking at the whole picture, not only does a secure system help mitigate attacks, it also increases brand value with your customers and secures your associates and brand.

Cisco security solutions for retail help retail organizations see more of what’s happening, protect your data, and respond faster to network security attacks when they (inevitably) do happen. And when done right, Cybersecurity excellence not only protects your brand and customers, it can create business value and a competitive advantage.

Join our Cisco UKI Retail Security Trends Briefing in London on February 28, 2017 to get key insights from our Annual Cybersecurity Report and what they mean for retailers and hear first-hand from two leading retailers – Travis Perkins and Morrisons – on the steps they’re taking to protect their business, customers and brand reputation.

Follow us on Twitter: @CiscoRetail


Brian McDonald

Global Retail & Hospitality Industries Marketing Lead

Private Sector Industry Marketing