BRC launches cyber security toolkit for retailers

As part of its strategy to increase cyber resilience amongst retailers, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has worked with experts at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to develop a new toolkit to support business leaders in reducing the threat of a successful attack.

The actionable guide is specifically designed for non-cyber experts, such as board members, those in senior strategic roles, and startup businesses. It highlights the threats faced by retailers, key questions to consider when developing cyber resilience strategies, and guidance on the types of protections retailers should implement.

The toolkit outlines recommended actions for retailers in preventing breaches through stronger protections; preparation to mitigate the impact of a successful breach; recovering after a cyber attack; and embedding a positive cyber resilience culture at board level.

The BRC statement noted that retail has one of the most advanced digital offerings of any industry and has thus become one of the most targeted. It claimed that businesses in the industry have spent £186 million in the past year on deploying systems to protect their customers and prevent future breaches.

Due to the Coronavirus shift to online shopping, the cyber risk has increased, alongside potential attacks on the supply chain. Processes and systems are being rapidly digitised and automated, from e-commerce, cloud systems and shift patterns to payroll and procurement.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said that the growth in online selling means there is an increasing threat of new cyber breaches and sophisticated hacking techniques.

“This toolkit will ensure all retailers, no matter their size or level of cyber expertise, are well-equipped to face the challenge of cyber security."

Ian Levy, technical director of the NCSC, said: “We want to keep shoppers’ data, identity and privacy safe, and to ensure that the retail sector is well equipped to face the cyber challenges associated with an ever-more digital world.

“The new BRC toolkit has been written in a way that is clear and concise so that it can be understood by retailers and those with a cyber specialism - I urge all key-decision makers in the industry to familiarise themselves with the toolkit and act on it.”

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