It seems like every day in the news, we hear about cyberattacks and security breaches. It’s unnerving to companies, as well as customers who worry about their personal information being abused and misused in the wrong hands. All it takes is one breach to lose the trust of your valued customers, and ultimately, tarnish your brand’s name and reputation.
According to Accenture, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, but sadly, only 14% of businesses are prepared to defend themselves. No matter the size of the business, retailers should expect and anticipate that a breach/attack will happen to them at some point. Protecting your data and customers’ sensitive information is critical and should be a top priority in the fast-moving digital age.
The retail landscape has drastically changed in recent years, with a major move to e-commerce that only escalated during the pandemic. As more retailers constantly roll out new processes for in-store and online payments, along with digital shopping experiences on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, they become more vulnerable to hackers. And the more data retailers collect, the better the chance of a breach. The only way for retailers to combat cybercriminals in their stores and online is to take a multi-faceted approach.
Retailers should think of themselves as bodyguards, always working to protect their business and customers.
As technology becomes more sophisticated, so do the hackers. To stay ahead of the bad guys, retailers must consistently reassess and update their security systems to incorporate new technology. While it may be overwhelming at first, as well as expensive, it pays off in the long run. According to insurance carrier Hiscox, digital incidents cost businesses $200,000 on average. You don’t want to play an even more costly game of catch-up after a breach; or suffer the biggest loss, which is trusted customers.
To stay ahead of cybercriminals:
Protecting your customers’ sensitive information also begins in-house and with your employees. It’s vital to control what employees can access, which could mean limiting them to only what they need for their daily tasks and banning the use of removable media like USB drives and personal laptops/computers at work. Also, employees should go through regular cybersecurity training, which could help them detect scammers who send phishing emails and enable them to correctly respond to fraudulent requests.
Employers should be in constant communication about the latest threats and trends, so employees know how to combat them. That could also look like yearly seminars where retailers and employees are taken through cybersecurity exercises meant to help recognize and stop breaches or attacks.
Lastly, plan for the worst. Every retailer should have a recovery plan in place should a cyberattack occur, including a communications strategy on how to handle the backlash.
As the digital world keeps evolving, so should your security practices.
To learn more about Brett Beveridge, his company, T-ROC Global, his awards, speaking opportunities and upcoming ForbesBooks launch, visit www.brettbeveridge.com.
The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC Global) is home to four sales solutions companies that enable clients to fulfill all of their sales performance needs. The companies are: The Retail Outsource (TRO), Mobile Insight (MI), The Consumer Insight (TCI), and SYMBITS.
Brett Beveridge is the founder and chief executive officer for The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC Global). Beveridge is a serial entrepreneur who builds businesses from the ground up. Since founding T-ROC Global, the company has evolved to become a leader in the wireless, electronics, software and retail industries.