Retail sector steps up fight against criminals with launch of BRC’s Cyber Security Toolkit

In partnership with Home Office minister Sarah Newton MP, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has just launched a Cyber Security Toolkit that will provide retail businesses of all sizes with a practical, step-by-step guide to prevent and manage cyber security threats and protect the customers whom they serve.

For retailers, the online market has seen huge growth in recent years with online sales expanding by around 10% to 15% each year. The same period has seen the parallel rise of ever-more elaborate forms of cyber-related crimes such as ‘doxing’, ‘whaling’ and ‘spoofing’ against both retail businesses and online shoppers.

In developing this new toolkit, the BRC and its members were driven by a desire to keep pace with the evolving risks associated with operating online and also to ensure they meet customer expectations around the protection of personal data.

The toolkit’s recommendations to retail businesses include establishing cyber security as a Board-level issue, retail-specific information-sharing, completing a cyber security risk assessment and creating an incident response plan. The toolkit also provides a guide to preparing for, responding to, recovering from and reviewing cyber attacks.

Consumers spend approximately one in every four pounds online. According to the BRC’s Retail Crime Survey for 2016, an estimated 53% of all reported fraud in the retail industry is cyber-enabled, which represents a total direct cost of around £100 million.

Know-how, guidance and practical support

Hugo Rosemont

Hugo Rosemont

Hugo Rosemont, policy advisor on crime and security at the BRC, told Risk UK: “The UK is one of the leading e-commerce markets in the world. The BRC Cyber Security Toolkit is designed to equip British retailers with the know-how, guidance and practical support that will help the industry to stay ahead of the ever-evolving threats posed by cyber-related criminality. All parts of the retail industry have a large and growing stake in keeping customers safe and secure, and the industry is committed to ensuring that the strongest possible measures are in place – all the way through from prevention to incident response.”

Sarah Newton, the Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism at the Home Office, added: “The nature of crime is changing, and so the way in which we all work to tackle it must change, too. We’re already taking world-leading action to stamp out cyber crime and fraud, including investing £1.9 billion in cyber security over five years. As we’ve always said, though, the Government cannot fight the cyber criminals on its own. Businesses have a responsibility to take steps to protect themselves and their customers, which is why we’re delighted that the BRC has introduced its Cyber Security Toolkit to help retailers do just that.”

Dr Ian Levy, technical director at the National Cyber Security Centre, commented: “The retail sector is vital to the UK’s economic well-being and both the sector itself and its supply chain are increasingly reliant on online safety and security. The National Cyber Security Centre is delighted to be working with the BRC in finding innovative ways to make the UK a safe place for citizens, e-commerce, small businesses and large chains alike to transact their retail business online. We’re committed to giving individuals and businesses of all sizes the confidence to deliver success in our increasingly digitised economy, and we’re very pleased to support the introduction of this new toolkit.”

*Download the BRC’s 44-page Cyber Security Toolkit

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI Editor, Risk UK Pro-Activ Publications

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