Five ways retailers can tackle cyberattacks

Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts on 14 January 2019
Five ways retailers can tackle cyberattacks

According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, more than half of retail organisations (56%) in Asia Pacific have experienced a security incident because they had not carried out proper forensics or data breach assessment. 

These statistics, highlighted by Raj Raguneethan in a recent Microsoft blogpost, illustrate the fact that, while retailers recognise that they need to better use data to personalise the shopping experience in order to compete for their share of the customer’s wallet, the data used to personalise these services, such as product preferences and transactions history, has made retailers a prime target for cybercriminals. 

Raguneethan advises that cybersecurity be incorporated into a business from the start. “It is time to view cybersecurity less as a tactical tool and more as a strategic differentiator for a business. Retail firms should embrace it as a core business function, just as they view customer data as key to their future operations,” he said.

Raguneethan suggests five ways retailers can use cybersecurity to prevent and resolve attacks:  
1. View cybersecurity as a digital transformation enabler
2. Invest in fundamentals such as adequate IT resources
3. Maximise skills and tools with integrated best-of-suite tools
4. Carry out continuous assessment, review and compliance
5. Leverage AI and automation to boost capacity and capability. 

“AI will be increasingly important,” he said. “It will greatly automate many processes and provide security analysts with the ability to sift through millions of threat data points to accurately identify which activities are highly suspicious and respond swiftly to them.”

However, there does seem to be a change in the industry’s mindset. The research study by Frost & Sullivan also found that 75% of retailers in Asia Pacific have adopted or want to adopt AI for cybersecurity. 

“In today’s digital economy, retail companies must reduce risk and boost confidence in customers seeking a safe, secure and seamless buying experience,” said Raguneethan. “That is the key to a successful transformation.”

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