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Australian Retailers Paying the Price for Lack of Online Security

  • By Tobias Manolo 
  • Category: Security 
  • Comments (0) 

By Tobias Manolo

According to a recent global security survey by Dell Software, the average Australian business is losing $593,108 per year due to security breaches.  That figure in itself is alarming; what is of even more concern is that few of those businesses neither understand nor the capabilities to ensure that their online business is adequately secure.

In the last 12 months, nearly 60% of Australian businesses have experienced a security breach, and 9% of companies have, as a result, a lost as much as $5 million. With many businesses not able to deal with security threats, especially serious ones, the future does not look promising.  Of all the business industries, it was the retail industry that was found to be the most vulnerable, losing, on average, $1.2 million per annum.  80% of businesses in the retail sector reported a breach in security in just the last year, stating that they spend more than half their time responding to threats.  But despite these figures, less than half of respondents to Dell’s survey (48%) reported that security was going to be a key concern in 2014.

The survey also revealed the following key findings:

•    63% of respondents believe that there will be an increase in the reliance on browser-based apps and that this would be the biggest security threat to them over the next 5 years.
•    Losing critical business data was the principal security concern for retail businesses, said 53% of respondents.
•    Just 10% of retail companies plan to invest, or migrate, critical data and apps to the in 2014.

It must be said that there seems to be a distinct lethargy when it comes to the retail industry’s online security issues.  With businesses losing so much to breaches of security, why isn’t there significant investment in security solutions, such as moving data to the cloud?  Local businesses are confident, on a global basis, that they are able to efficiently detect security threats; however, they are among the slowest to respond security breaches when they occur, and that’s just identifying the source of the threat – it takes them even longer to actually put into action any plan to rectify the breach!

Ian Hodge, General Manager of Dell Software Australia, said: “There is still a disturbing lack of understanding and awareness of the type of impact and detriment caused by these threats that can come from both sides of an organisation’s perimeter.  As a result, we believe a new security approach is needed – one that is embedded in the fabric of software, governing access to every application and protecting every device, both inside and outside a corporate network.”

With retail industries among the biggest sector to hold confidential, sensitive data, surely it would make sense that it is this sector that sees the biggest investment in online security measures?  What’s it going to take to swing the tide and encourage companies to take security breaches more seriously and budget the necessary spend to improve the situation?

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