Retail businesses are beefing up their IT security for the 2020 holiday season

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Businesses are increasing their spend on IT security this holiday season in the face of growing online threats, new research has claimed.

A survey from security firm Tripwire found 78% of businesses in the retail sector are taking an increasingly proactive stance and beefing up their IT systems.

Following a year that has been dominated by COVID-19 consumers have flocked to e-commerce websites in increasing numbers. This has been matched by a huge increase in online retail fraud, with 87% of businesses questioned stating they’d taken addition cybersecurity measures because of the threat to their e-commerce systems.

Businesses have been beefing up everything from their e-commerce platforms through to point of sale terminals in a bid to make their online shopping experience more secure. Some 61% of those businesses questioned said they now felt more confident about being able to detect and respond to security alerts than they did at the same time last year.

Thwarting cybercriminals

Overall, the survey found 63% of retail organizations made the decision to ramp up their IT security measures earlier this year. A further 57% reported that the extra work to make their e-commerce systems more robust had put additional pressure on staff due to the rise in demand for shopping online.

Indeed, some of the retail outlets that took part in the survey said they were particularly pleased with their increased efforts at thwarting cybercriminals. Around a third (32%) claimed their their ability to protect customer data was now ‘excellent’ compared to only 19% of e-commerce businesses that said the same in 2017.

Central to the improved ability to deal with increasing cybersecurity threats has been speedier response times. IT staff say they are now better placed to pinpoint configuration changes, with 64% spotting issues within minutes or hours, as opposed to 55% back in 2017.

More widely across the online retail sector, 45% of businesses said they are tackling vulnerabilities within 15 days of detection, with a further 35% taking preventative measures within 15 to 30 days.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.