Do you remember the first online purchase you ever made? Thinking back, it should have been a momentous, bell-ringing moment, but actually, I can’t remember either the item or the retailer. We all take eCommerce for granted, making naive assumptions that buying a book, or a radiator (yes, that was my latest purchase) online, is the same as strolling into a store and handing over some cash in exchange for a product. It’s really not.
Before us marketing folks got savvy with tracking the customer shopping journey and demanding customer email addresses with every purchase in store, customers only ever handed over contact details and billing information when they bought something online. And we assumed that the retailer collected our data and kept it safe. Phishing attacks? Pah! Big retail brands would obviously have the best cyber defences in place to withstand a breach or the loss of our details, right?
The freebie no customer wants
Over the years, there have been some pretty massive data breaches involving retailers – from
Not to sound too dramatic, but shopping online is a dangerous pastime, for your bank balance (damn those targeted ads and half price sales) and your personal data. If a hack means the criminals have got their mitts your contact data, you’re likely to see an email heading your way in an attempt to steal something. It’s up to you to recognise scams – from the TK Maxx dodgy email asking for hundreds of pounds to help unlock an even greater treasure of which you’ll share half (yes, these scams are still out there), to those that ingeniously spoof the domain of a retailer and send you an email asking you log into ‘your account’ to update your billing details.
So is the retail sector doing enough to keep the cyberthreat at bay?
According to a recent report, phishing is the most common form of security compromise in the retail sector. And best of all, it’s something that can very easily be eradicated using DMARC. We recently analysed the domains of the top 479 retailers in the UK to see who was taking customer protection seriously. Would it surprise you to hear that only 2.1% of these retailers (the list of brands we used is here) have fully deployed DMARC? This means their domains cannot be spoofed, and you’ll never receive a fake email that looks exactly like it comes from them.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, we ran this research last year and the number of protected companies has increased by 1.1%. Admittedly this isn’t quite what we had expected (or hoped for), and to be honest somewhat alarming given GDPR went live this year and the “adequate and appropriate measures to avoid a breach” it requires would very much include implementing DMARC.
We don’t want to name and shame (and we’d have to include a rather long list if we tried) so we’ll leave you to check for yourself if your favourite brand is sadly one of the 97.9% of organisations that are letting you down. And here’s our latest guide for retailers looking to learn more about DMARC, if you want to help them out!
Have you ever been a victim of a data breach that involved a previously trusted brand? Did you stop shopping with them? We’d love to hear your stories, tweet us @redsift or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.