How Secure Are Shopping Data?

Online retailers are reeling in record sales this Christmas season, but are their online transactions secure? Ingrain Networks co-sponsored the “Retail Data Security Benchmarking Study” conducted by Retail Systems Alert Group. It finds a lack of action for securing consumer information.

Over half of the survey’s respondents have a security program coordinator and have trained employees on consumer privacy issues and information security. Yet not as many of those who identify themselves as online retailers are prepared for security issues. Forty-three percent of the retailers have a formal incident response plan for consumer data security. Yet a quarter of this group don’t test the plan for its ability to address problems.

Whether firms test or not, the report finds most retailers use internal audits for security, confidentiality and integrity of consumer-specific data.

Data security is a concern for online shoppers, though recent research from ID Analytics finds identity theft risk to be lower than commonly perceived.

Following a security breach, the calculated fraudulent consumer victim misuse rate is 0.098 percent, or fewer than one in 1,000. The firm calls the rate low, and claims it’s time and labor-intensive to follow-through with actual identity theft.

ID Analytics examined four data breaches from separate companies involving about half a million consumer identities. It categorized breaches as “identity-level” breaches, meaning names and Social Security numbers were stolen; and “account-level” breaches where only account numbers were stolen, though account numbers are sometimes associated with names.

Retail Systems Alert Group surveyed a group of 71 respondents from various retailers and merchandisers.

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