Retail data breaches are becoming commonplace, which is reflected in a survey of more than 1,200 senior security executives conducted by cybersecurity solutions provider Thales.
Key findings from the "2018 Thales Data Threat Report – Retail Edition" included:
- 50 percent of U.S. retailers have experienced a data breach in the past 12 months, compared to 19 percent one year earlier.
- 75 percent have experienced at least one data breach to date, up from 52 percent in 2017.
- 84 percent intend to increase their IT security spending.
- 95 percent plan to leverage sensitive data in the cloud or another advanced technology environment, an increase from 65 percent last year.
- 99 percent use the Internet of Things (IoT) and other digital transformation technologies to manage their sensitive data.
As digital transformation technologies become available, new data security challenges arise, Thales stated. If retailers understand how to protect their sensitive data against evolving cyberattacks, they could reduce the risk of data breaches both now and in the future.
How Do Retailers Protect Their Sensitive Data?
Data-at-rest (90 percent) and data-in-motion (89 percent) technologies ranked among the top data protection tools for retailers, according to the Thales report. These technologies help retailers reduce their attack surfaces and find and stop cyberattacks.
In addition, retailers frequently deploy endpoint and network security solutions, but the combination of spear phishing and zero-day exploits often makes it difficult to limit the impact of these cyberattacks, Thales noted. Yet retailers that deploy data encryption technologies may be better equipped than others to secure their sensitive information across a wide range of IT environments.
Why Is Encryption Important to Retailers?
Encryption empowers retailers to safeguard data in traditional data centers, the cloud and other IT environments, Thales indicated. It also allows retailers to protect data at rest, in motion and in use and secure data to meet compliance requirements.
The push for encryption technologies among retailers is expected to continue in the years to come, too.
Sixty-seven percent of U.S. retailers plan to implement database and file encryption technologies this year, Thales indicated in its report. Furthermore, 49 percent said they intend to use encryption tools to comply with global privacy regulations.