Retailers lost £36m through cybercrime last year, according to the British Retail Consortium, with another £100m lost to cyber-enabled fraud. Rising cyber risks, in part associated with the burgeoning number of connected devices in the Internet of Things, will see the global spend on cybersecurity technology surpass $1.8 billion by 2020.
Global systems integrator World Wide Technology (WWT) emphasises that the costs associated with cybersecurity will continue to rise unless retailers focus on working smarter rather than harder to defend themselves and their customers' data.
Fear prompted by prominent attacks has pushed up cyber insurance premiums and investment in cyber defence tools, but retailers based in the UK and Europe will also have to contend with the impact of the upcoming GDPR on their security measures. Strict notification requirements to be introduced by the GDPR in 2018 come alongside the potential for fines of up to four percent of global turnover.
"Tools that can help to detect breaches and predict areas of weakness are more important than ever," said Ben Boswell, UK & Ireland Director at WWT. "One of the side effects of the IoT boom is that businesses simply won't be able to achieve complete security if they're not investing in smart technologies."
Ben continues: "We know that having proper information management and data governance procedures in place can dramatically reduce the cost of cyber breaches even if they do happen. But with the increased transparency of the GDPR, avoiding a breach altogether will become even more valuable than simply minimising their impact once they happen.
"Businesses must turn their attention towards tools which predict areas of weakness, pinpoint risks and identify threats to their entire technology ecosystem. Rather than a network manager working harder and harder to create security at each point of connection, these tools can help enterprises to work smarter in the fight against cybercrime."