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Retail Profits: Making Security an Enabler of Speed and Bottom-Line Growth

The retail industry is undergoing continuous transformation, driven by technological advancements that have profoundly impacted its trajectory. Nevertheless, as new technologies and data integration take centre stage, the industry confronts unprecedented challenges with the increasing rise of cybersecurity breaches.

In Q1 of 2023, WBR Insights conducted a survey of 100 CIOs and similar in the retail sector across Europe to find out what technologies and processes they are using to enhance and protect the user experience. Edgio and others in the Retail CIO Connect community provided analysis and commentary. Here are some of the key findings:


  • The realm of eCommerce is experiencing remarkable expansion, which has consequently exposed retail brands to elevated security risks. According to WBR’s survey findings, over one-third of participants (35%) disclosed being impacted by a cyber-attack within the preceding year.

“The retail sector is one of the most targeted industries for cyber-attacks, so it is no surprise that a third of the companies surveyed admitted to experiencing a breach. Usually, it is not a question of if a data breach will happen, but when. As attacks target both the network and application layers, organisations must protect against several attack vectors. It is imperative to have an end-to-end solution from the basic infrastructure security standpoint right through to data encryption, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), and application layer protection.”

  • Retail brands are actively seeking flexible and inventive approaches to enhance their security measures. One prevalent solution gaining traction is the amalgamation of diverse enterprise challenges into streamlined and effective software delivery, known as Development, Security, and Operations (DevSecOps). WBR’s survey findings indicate that 28% of respondents have intentions to integrate their DevOps and security practices in the near future.
  • As the surge in inflation takes hold, the landscape of customer experiences is being revolutionized by digital technologies. Nearly all (96%) of the surveyed participants are actively leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning (ML), and 90% reported successful utilization of the Internet of Things (IoT). While these technologies introduce novel capabilities for shoppers, they also introduce additional threats such as web application attacks. 


Overall, the survey conducted by WBR highlights retailers’ efforts to enhance their cybersecurity measures over the coming year. It is important to recognize that heightened security measures are often misunderstood as impediments rather than facilitators of speed and bottom-line growth. However, the right security solution has the potential to not only safeguard data and brand reputation but also yield cost reduction, enhance operational efficiency, and elevate the overall customer experience. By prioritizing cybersecurity, retailers can achieve a balance between protection and the pursuit of their organizational goals.

Download the full report for additional results and analysis and listen to our panel of industry experts unpick the key findings.