Research by KPMG and the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign suggests that the retail industry is not taking the threat of cyber crime seriously enough, with 1 in 7 not taking steps to protect their data.
Consequently, the Cyber Aware campaign and the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) have teamed up to create the following tips to help independent retailers protect their businesses – and in turn their customers – from cyber threats.
1. Always install the latest software and app updates. They contain vital security upgrades that help protect your devices from viruses and hackers.
2. Use a strong, separate password for your business’s email accounts. Hackers can use your email to take control of many of your accounts. Use three random words or numbers to create a strong password.
3. Always back-up your most important data, that way hackers cannot hold you to ransom over your business’s data.
4. Provide staff with access to simple, freely-available cyber security training. This training can educate your staff in protective tactics and help them identify phishing emails or identity fraud, such as a hacker posing as a CEO and asking for payment details.
5. Seek accreditation through the Government-endorsed Cyber Essentials scheme. This is a Government-backed and industry-supported standard, which protects your business against the most common online threats.
Commenting on the advice, bira’s membership and marketing director, Robert Jarrett, says, “A significant cyber-attack could put an independent retailer out of business. The greatest asset independents have over the bigger retailers is their connection with their customers. Lose this trust and you lose your business. It is vitally important to ensure your business is protected as well as it can be.”