Restoring confidence in retail with Akamai Technologies

Delivering reliable cybersecurity should be one of the most important priorities for retailers as they fight to keep the trust of consumers in increasingly uncertain times

Richard Meeus
By Richard Meeus on 12 January 2023
Restoring confidence in retail with Akamai Technologies
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Akamai Technologies, a cloud security, compute and delivery solution provider, has conducted new research that reveals cybersecurity as one of the key dampeners of British consumers’ confidence in the retail sector.  

Our research shows that 59 per cent of people who have ever shopped online would stop shopping at a retailer if it was the victim of a cyberattack and 49 per cent don’t currently trust retailers to keep their personal details safe. These results come at a time of national economic uncertainty, with retailers under increasing pressure to attract and retain customers. Retail sales volumes in the UK fell by 1.6 per cent in August 2022, according to the UK Office for National Statistics, continuing a downward trend that has been taking place since summer 2021. 

Consumers are becoming accustomed to constant cybersecurity threats, with 64 per cent of those ever shopping online having experienced an attack attempt in the last year. This is reflected in recent global data from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, which shows that web application and application programming interface attacks in the retail sector have increased by a dramatic 301 per cent between July 2021 and July 2022. Almost half of respondents say they think it is likely that their personal data will be exposed in an attack within the next 12 months.

The link between cybersecurity and spending is clear, as 70 per cent of online shoppers said they assess how secure a retailer’s website looks before buying and 91 per cent of consumers said they would abandon their shopping cart if a website did not appear secure enough. Over half also said that they would tell their friends to stop shopping with a retailer if they had been the victim of a cyberattack. When it comes to user experience, the research found that 79 per cent of people would rather their personal data be well protected by a retailer than receive a more personalised online shopping experience from them.

When asked how they expect retailers to tackle cybersecurity threats, 76 per cent of British online shoppers expect retailers to invest heavily in data protection and security as opposed to educational campaigns or communications, which only 37 per cent highlighted as important.  

With cyberattacks on the rise, it is more important than ever for retailers to ensure their customers feel safe and secure while shopping online. At this time of economic uncertainty, many retailers will be tempted to cut budgets. However, Akamai’s research shows that cybersecurity is one area where they absolutely cannot afford to cut corners if they want to maintain the trust of their customers. Consumers are ready to walk out on retailers over bad cybersecurity.

Akamai powers and protects life online. Leading companies worldwide choose Akamai to build, deliver and secure their digital experiences – helping billions of people live, work and play every day. With the world’s most distributed compute platform – from cloud to edge – Akamai makes it easy for customers to develop and run applications, while we keep experiences closer to users and threats further away.

Richard Meeus is director of security technology and strategy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Akamai 

This article was originally published in the Winter 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription

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