The Importance of Cybersecurity Strategies for Retail Industries

Digital transformation is happening at an alarming rate, and it is none other because of the rapidly developing technology that makes new business models to emerge and open new revenue sources. Despite opening new opportunities and making it easier to gain profits, there is also the downside to it. Securing company data has become one of the most daunting challenges that happen because of digital transformation. An organization can experience great economic cause from a cyber attack, approximately $18.7 million.

This fact makes about 60 percent of retail organizations in the Asia Pacific Region to slow down digital transformation projects, according to a study by Frost & Sullivan, commissioned by Microsoft.

A study was conducted to understand the underlying threat in the world of cybersecurity, surveying 1300 business and IT decision makers ranging from mid to large sized organizations with 10 percent of respondents from the retail industry. This study showed that the average economic loss in mid sized retail organizations was $47,000 per organization. Furthermore, the study found that three out of four cybersecurity attacks against retail organizations in the past year resulted in the loss of job across different functions in the organization.

Kenny Yeo from Frost & Sullivan conveyed that trust is very critical in today’s retail organizations. They need to show that they are capable of protecting the customers’ personal information as well as potential data if they want to keep their customers from switching to different options or competitors in the linear line of business. Compared to other industries, retail organizations are more prone to lose customers once they are exposed to a cybersecurity incident, making it more important for retail industries to understand the great need for a well-planned and executed cybersecurity strategies in order to avoid great loss in the company.

Unfortunately, retail organizations remain vulnerable despite knowing the possible economic loss and damage to reputation that cyberattack can bring. According to the study, 56 percent of the organizations that filled out the survey have experienced a security incident or haven’t checked, so they are not sure whether or not they have gone through it.

Avoiding digital transformation altogether can end up jeopardizing the growth opportunities of the company. In order to be able to compete, retail industries must join the trend and development in e-commerce space and the digital economy.

40 percent of respondents in the survey see their cybersecurity strategy as a way to keep their organization safe from cyber attacks. Meanwhile, 22 percent of them regard cybersecurity as an advantage in business and an enable for digital transformation.

According to Raj Raguneethan, Asia Lead, retail and consumer industries from Microsoft, retail organizations are trying to deliver customer experiences that are personal, seamless, and differentiated so that digital transformation and data-based insights can grow.

He also added that cybercrime in this era is simply a matter of when, meaning that it can happen anytime. Retail organizations need to always be prepared with the right cybersecurity strategy, prioritizing trust, transparency, standards conformance and regulatory compliance.

Cassandra Newton

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