Retail sector steps up the fight against rising cyber threats

The British Retail Consortium has launched a cyber security ‘toolkit’ that will provide retail businesses of all sizes with a practical guide to prevent and manage cyber security threats and protect the customers they serve.

The BRC Cyber Security Toolkit, launched in London this week by the BRC and Home Office Minister Sarah Newton MP, is the first of its kind.

It 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.

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For retailers, the online market has seen huge growth in recent years with online sales growing by around 10% to 15% each year.

The same period has seen the parallel rise of ever more elaborate forms of cyber-related crimes 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.

According to the BRC Annual Retail Crime Survey 2016, an estimated 53% of reported fraud in the retail industry is cyber-enabled, which represents a total direct cost of around £100 million.

MP Sarah Newton said:Crime is changing and so the way we all work to tackle it must change too.

“We are already taking world-leading action to stamp out cyber crime and fraud, including investing £1.9 billion in cyber security over five years. But as we have said, the Government cannot do this alone.

“Businesses have a responsibility to take steps to protect themselves and their customers, which is why we are delighted that the BRC has introduced their Cyber Security Toolkit to help retailers to do so.”

The toolkit is available to download here.

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