Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) stopped many things in 2020. While in-store holiday shopping may be greatly reduced for some, there’s still a lot of shopping happening online. Near the end of November 2020, Statista revealed that holiday retail sales were expected to grow approximately 3.6% over the previous year. And Adobe Analytics reported that online sales would likely rise 33% to a record $189 billion. CNBC clarified that this number condenses two years’ worth of economic growth into one holiday season.

These projections raise an important question: are retail organizations prepared to meet the security challenges that could accompany the growth and the changes 2020 has imposed on shopping behavior?

To explore this, Tripwire commissioned Dimensional Research to survey 203 security professionals working in the retail industry. The study specifically asked respondents about the state of their employers’ digital security programs and how they have adapted to this year’s particular challenges.

Their answers help to illuminate how COVID-19 has shaped the retail industry’s IT security precautions for the holidays.

COVID-19 Spurs Greater Security Investments

A majority (78%) of security professionals working in the retail industry told Tripwire that their organization’s IT security team had taken additional precautions for the 2020 holiday season. This rate was evenly split at 39% between those who had implemented slightly more controls and those who had enacted significantly more measures ahead of the holidays.

Most of these additional security precautions traced back to the pandemic, Tripwire found. More than a third (35%) of survey participants indicated that COVID-19 was entirely responsible for their retailer’s additional security investments leading up to the 2020 holiday season. Just 13% said that the pandemic had not affected investments.

“It’s clear that COVID is driving changes in how retail organizations think about the holiday season. They’re starting earlier and expecting (Read more...)