Technology

Cyber security big concern for consumers shopping with apps

As technology changes the way people shop, concerns about security breaches on mobile devices have been revealed as the biggest fear among consumers when it comes to deciding on downloading a retail app, according to research by Apadmi.

The survey showed three quarters (74 per cent) were most concerned about the security of their information if they downloaded a retail app.

As well as being worried about the security of their data, consumers also wanted to know how their information would be used once they had provided it to retailers through an app. More than a third (34 per cent) of consumers said they didn’t like the idea of retailers storing their information because they didn’t know what it would be used for.

Elsewhere, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has launched a “toolkit” to help retailers deal with the threat of cyber-crime. The cyber security toolkit aims to provide retailers with practical guidance to ensure they have the appropriate preventative and response measures in place to reduce their vulnerabilities and to protect both themselves and their customers.

The online retail market has seen huge growth in recent years, with sales growing by around 10 to 15 per cent each year. The same period has seen the parallel rise of ever more elaborate forms of cyber-related crimes such as “doxing”, “whaling” and “spoofing” against both retail businesses and online shoppers.

The toolkit’s recommendations to retail businesses include: establishing cyber security as a board-level issue, retail-specific information sharing, completing a cyber security risk assessment, and creating an incident response plan. The toolkit also provides a guide to preparing, responding, recovering and reviewing attacks.

Consumers spend approximately one in four pounds online. According to the BRC Annual Retail Crime Survey 2016, an estimated 53 per cent of reported fraud in the retail industry is cyber-enabled, which represents a total direct cost of around £100million.

Hugo Rosemont, Policy Adviser on Crime Security at BRC, said: “The UK is one of the leading e-commerce markets in the world. The BRC Cyber Security Toolkit is designed to equip British retailers with the knowhow, guidance and practical support that will help the industry stay ahead of the ever-evolving threats posed by cyber-related criminality.

“All parts of the retail industry have a large and growing stake in keeping customers safe and secure, and the industry is committed to ensuring the strongest possible measures are in place – all the way through from prevention to incident response.”

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