Study: Retailers face increased — and varied — data threats

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Retail data breaches remain common as growth slows in industry security spending.

According to the “2019 Thales Data Threat Report – Retail Edition” from online security provider Thales, nearly two-thirds (62%) of retailers reported ever experiencing a data breach and over one-third (37%) indicated they were breached in the past year. 

Interestingly, this high rate of data breaches comes amidst a decline in the rate of growth in security spending. Less than two-thirds (62%) respondents said that they were increasing spending this year, compared to 84% last year. Yet nearly all (96%) of the retailers surveyed said they use sensitive data within digitally transformative environments.  

In fact, cloud use with sensitive data is extremely high. Seven in 10 (69%) respondents have 26 or more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, while more than half have three or more Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) applications. Forty percent of respondents rated complexity as the top barrier to deploying data security.

Other interesting findings include:

•    The top three data security concerns of respondents were cyberterrorism (55%), hacktivists (50%), and internal, privileged users (47%). Interestingly, cybercriminals were not a top concern despite the high number of data breaches in the past year.

•    Nearly all (92%) of those surveyed will be affected by data privacy and sovereignty regulations. Yet, just over half (56%) of respondents will use encryption or tokenization to meet these requirements.

•    42% of respondents say they are either aggressively disrupting the markets in which they participate or are embedding digital capabilities that enable greater organizational agility

IDC provided research and analysis for the Thales study.