As e-commerce and the cashless economy grow in the wake of Covid-19, it is expected that a large part of Christmas shopping in 2021 will be done via e-tailers and online shops.
From ForgeRock ANZ Regional Vice President James Ross.
ForgeRock ANZ Regional Vice President James Ross.
However, as alternative payment options grow in popularity, consumer touchpoints for financial options with retailers are growing. Buy now, pay later, digital banking and third-party providers like PayPal – access to bank data has never been so open – for consumers and criminals alike.
Retail is one of the most vulnerable industries when it comes to cyber concerns. With attacks on retailers increasing 800% year over year, it's imperative for retailers to be smart with customer data to ensure a safe and seamless Christmas shopping experience.
Consumers first approach to data security
Retailers are often at the forefront of security. Even as consumers become more savvy about internet security, protecting customers from the start will help mitigate any future problem or problem.
When you encourage customers to open accounts, implementing strong authentication systems is a solid foundation. As cyber attacks on usernames and passwords will increase by 450% between 2019 and 2020, multi-factor authentication (MFA) will help you to build trust in your online offers. Don't rely solely on pet passwords or street names based on multiple login touchpoints to protect your customer data to minimize the risk of fraud and cyberattacks.
MFA can also help retailers spot fraudulent activity early on by letting your customers know when someone is trying to access their information.
Encryption, encryption, encryption
The growth of data analytics technology has given retailers the ability to personalize consumer offerings. But while personalization is a powerful tool for retailers, collecting data like location, demographics, and other personal information carries risks.
It is therefore imperative that all consumer data is protected by a high level of encryption. This protects you from external threats and minimizes errors when data is passed on by internal employees.
By encrypting your e-commerce website using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and HTTPS certificates, criminal access to the personal data stored on your websites is minimized.
Additionally, retailers should only collect vital data. Don't collect data that you don't need. By eliminating outside data collection, you eliminate the threat and protect your customers.
To some, this may be Ecommerce 101, but if the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal taught us anything, it is that personal information is not always as secure as it seems, so getting the basics right is important do.
Keep your data under control
Some of the biggest security threats result from an outdated approach to security or technology. It's important to remember that cyber criminals are constantly evolving and thinking of smarter ways to achieve their goals.
Updating malware protection is at the forefront when it comes to defending against malware. A strong security system that is regularly updated protects your data from new threats.
Take stock of what platforms and software you are using. As new tools are added to your existing stack, make sure you understand what levels of protection this provides. You may have the best security available, but if one of your web analytics tools doesn't offer it, there is a potential backdoor for cyber criminals to access customer data.
The importance of customer safety
Ultimately, ensuring a high level of security boils down to one thing – trust. When online retailer Princess Polly suffered a data breach in 2019, it was struggling to maintain customer trust and received thousands of online complaints and numerous news reports on the matter.
This shows that trust keeps your customers coming back again and again, and when you break that trust it's not easy to get it back. It's no secret that cyber criminals are getting smarter and finding more ways to attack vulnerable points in the retail experience. But as criminals get smarter, so too do the ways to protect users.
It is important to remember that no network is impenetrable. But when you make sure you are in control of your systems and build strong customer offerings based on encryption and MFA solutions, you can be sure that you have done everything in your power to serve your customers this high season for Protecting a seamless experience.
About James Ross
James Ross joined the ForgeRock team in 2019 as Regional Vice President for ANZ. James is responsible for expanding ForgeRock's presence in Australia and New Zealand, with a focus on revenue growth and business development to cement ForgeRock's position as the core of identity management in Australia.
ForgeRock, a global leader in digital identity, offers modern identity and access management solutions for consumers, employees and other things to access the connected world easily and securely. With ForgeRock, more than 1300 companies around the world orchestrate, manage and secure the entire lifecycle of identities from dynamic access controls, governance, APIs and storage of relevant data – consumable in cloud or hybrid environments.