Why Retailers’ Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Could Hurt Holiday Sales

by MR Magazine Staff

Vera Bradley is just the latest retailer to fall victim to cybercrime. The women’s accessories retailer revealed earlier this month that payments systems at its brick-and-mortar stores were hacked, and that customer payment cards used at those locations this summer may have been compromised. Vera Bradley admitted it doesn’t know how many cards have been affected, and continues to work with an unnamed computer security firm to determine precisely what happened and how far the breach’s impact reaches. Vera Bradley joins the ignominious ranks of Target, Home Depot, Eddie Bauer and other retailers stung by cyber thieves. Chances are Vera Bradley isn’t the last in line to fall prey, either: Retailers experience the most cyber attacks of any industry sector — three times as many as the previous top target, the financial industry — according to information and communications technology firm NTT Group’s 2016 Global Threat Intelligence Report. The repercussions can be catastrophic. According to professional services firm KPMG’s 2016 Consumer Loss Barometer, 19% of U.S. consumers said they would stop shopping at a retailer that had fallen victim to a cybersecurity hack, even if the company took the necessary steps to remedy the issue. Another 33% said concerns over additional exposure of personal information would prevent them from shopping at a breached merchant for at least three months. Read more at Retail Dive.