Gifts Today magazine

BIRA's cyber security advice

British Independent Retailers Association offers advice on how to protect data

Recent events have highlighted the catastrophic effects that cyber crime can have on businesses large and small alike; however research by KPMG and the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign suggests that the retail industry is not taking these threats seriously enough, with 1 in 7 not taking steps to protect their data.

Even though nearly three quarters (71%) of retailers put the most value on their customers, and 58% of consumers say they would be deterred from using a business hit by a cyber attack, it appears there are still gaps in retailers’ cyber security strategies: 95% of businesses consider cyber security to be very or quite important to their business, and yet 45% do not have a formal cyber security strategy.

What’s clear is that it’s vital that all independent retailers implement effective cyber security and cyber-enabled fraud prevention, but how? Most independent retailers are run by small teams, without vast it knowledge and being more cyber conscious can seem impossible. The Government’s Cyber Aware campaign and the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) have teamed together to come up with top tips for independent retailers to protect their businesses, and in turn their customers, from cyber threats:
Install the latest software and app updates - they contain vital security upgrades which help protect your devices from viruses and hackers.

1) Install the latest software and app updates - they contain vital security upgrades which help protect your devices from viruses and hackers.

2) Use a strong, separate password for your business’s email accounts - hackers can use your email to take control of many of your accounts. Use three random words or numbers to create a strong password.

3) Always back-up your most important data, that way hackers cannot hold you to ransom over your business’s data.

4) Provide staff with access to simple, freely-available cyber security training. This training can educate your staff in protective tactics such as identifying phishing emails and identity fraud, such as a hacker posing as a CEO and asking for payment details.

5) Seek accreditation through the Government-endorsed ‘Cyber Essentials’ scheme – this is a Government-backed and industry-supported ‘standard’, which protects your business against the most common online threats.

Robert Jarrett, Membership and Marketing Director at bira said: 'A significant cyber attack could put an independent retailer out of business. The greatest asset independents have over the bigger retailers is their connection with their customers. Lose this trust and you lose your business. It is vitally important to ensure your business is protected as well as it can be.'

bira.co.uk


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