Retailers facing wrath of GDPR due to repeated data breaches warns Thales e-Security

Retail report from analyst firm 451 Research and Thales e-Security highlights GDPR risk to retailers as the industry struggles with record levels of data breaches across the globe

by the commentator on 20 July 2017 08:25

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Retailers will be hit hard by the upcoming European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) due significant volumes of data breaches, according to research from the 2017 Thales Data Threat Report, Retail Edition, released today.

The research discovered that a 43 per cent of retailers had experienced a data breach in the last year, with a third (32 per cent) claiming more than one.

The risk posed by hackers and data breaches runs deep throughout the industry with 88 per cent of retailers considering themselves to be ‘vulnerable’ to data threats, with 37 per cent stating they are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ vulnerable.

To tackle this problem, three quarters (73 per cent) of retailers expect their spending on IT security to increase.

The much feared forthcoming EU GDPR has led to greater awareness and concern around issues of data privacy and sovereignty, with 72 per cent of retailers claiming to be impacted.

Fears around GDPR run deep with almost two thirds of retailers (64 per cent) claiming to be encrypting their data, 40 per cent are tokenising data, and a similar number (36 per cent) are implementing a migration project.

According to the report, half of retail organisations (52%) will use sensitive data in a big data environment this year, with a third (34%) using encryption to protect that data. Despite this, however, 39 percent were very concerned that they’re using these environments without proper security in place.

“With tremendous sets of detailed customer behaviour and personal information in their custody, retailers are a prime target for hackers so should look to invest more in data-centric protection. And as retailers dive head first into new technologies, data security must be a top priority as they continue to pursue their digital transformation,” commented Peter Galvin, vice president of strategy, Thales e-Security.

Galvin also recommended that retailers leverage encryption strategies such as Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) technologies for all advanced technologies.

451 Group’s information security chief Garrett Bekker added, “Breach results were not so rosy for global retail – a staggering 43 percent of global retail respondents reported a breach in the past year alone, approaching twice the global average. These distressing breach rates serve as stark proof that data on any system can be attacked and compromised.

Unfortunately, organisations keep spending on the same security solutions that worked for them in the past, but aren’t necessarily the most effective at stopping modern breaches,” he concluded.

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