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Retailers suffer increase in cyber attacks

21 April 2016 - 09:09 by Simon Crisp

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Last year retailers were hit by a 55 per cent rise in the number of cases of fraud and hacking levelled against them, according to figures published by the British Retail Consortium.

The Financial Times reports that this means most companies offering products for sale in the UK were hit by some form of digital attack, which makes it more important than ever for these firms to invest in sites that can offer safe shopping online to customers.

Sixty six per cent of the retailers questioned in the study said that they believed they were well prepared to rebuff the digital assaults made by cybercriminals. But this means that there are still a number of organisations which are less than wholly confident in their security solutions.

Ratings assigned to e-commerce sites operated by major retailers have been provided by security firm, UpGuard, with Aldi sitting at the top of the tree, ahead of Amazon.

Meanwhile at the lower end of the scale are companies including Tesco, Waitrose and Matalan, meaning that there are some vulnerabilities which need to be addressed.

UpGuard spokesperson, Greg Pollock, said that some retailers were getting complacent about security because they had invested in the technology required to encrypt payments made by customers, while leaving the rest of the site more exposed.

When broken down by industry, the average rating for retail sites is just lower than that of financial institutions. But the lead was taken by hospitals, suggesting more is being done to keep medical records safe.

In most instances, it is possible for consumers to carry out safe shopping online with major retailers and never encounter any security issues. But companies need to continue investing in improving their defences, if they want to combat threats in the long term.