Strong cyber security means strong commercial competitiveness. In the UK’s digitised economy, with its ever increasing reliance on technology, and online retail sales increasing by around 10-15 per cent annually, the most successful businesses are those that view information security as an enabler for growth, not a financial burden. Cyber security and e-commerce therefore go hand in hand in a digital age. Retailers who prioritise the people, process and technology aspects of cyber security whilst maximising the opportunities of innovation will be the market leaders of the future.
The onset of cyber-crime is a major risk to the UK economy in general, and the retail industry in particular. According the Office of National Statistics, there were 3.6 million fraud and 2 million computer misuse offences in the year ending September 2016. In the retail industry specifically, the British Retail Consortium’s latest Annual Retail Crime Survey (2016) found that 53% of fraud levelled against the sector is cyber-enabled, representing a direct cost of at least £100m per annum. 91% of those responding to the survey also stated that that the overall number of cyber breaches is either static or increasing. Means of online fraud and cyber-attack are extremely varied and, to help mitigate against these growing threats, the Government’s 2015 Spending Review announced that £1.9bn would be spent on enhancing UK cyber security capabilities.
We are seeking to influence the Government to:
- Recognise the retail industry as an industry of strategic importance in security terms
- Simplify the UK’s complex, often overlapping cyber security policy structures
- Develop a more coordinated approach to the management of major cyber security incidents
Our other recent work in this space has included:
- Informing the scope, structure and development of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, launched in October 2016, ensuring maximum cooperation and additional support for the industry
- Working with Members to develop practical, step-by-step guidance on how to prevent, prepare for, and respond to all forms of cyber-crime, including the most serious attacks such as data breaches
- Providing members with the opportunity to provide feedback to the City of London Police on the effectiveness of the UK’s ‘Action Fraud’ national fraud reporting system