Data security during the holidays

Digital security is on the minds of holiday customers this year, particularly with recent security breaches from Target and Home Depot. “Will the store I purchase gifts for my children from be the one that gets hacked? Will my credit be inaccessible when I’m buying that dream present for my spouse?”

While big retailers are certainly more likely to be targets, retailers who specialize in big-ticket items are just as vulnerable: Businesses who sell products like expensive jewelry, sporting equipment or, say, boats. You don’t have to just watch for shoplifters looking to steal a part or accessory on the shelf – you also need to look for thieves hovering around your point of sale.

It’s more or less assumed that businesses will be hacked this season. While consumers likely won’t bear the costs of the breaches – that is usually the responsibility of the financial institutions and businesses are covered heavily by insurance – it is a huge inconvenience for customers to have credit cards reissued and bank statements reversed, especially during the holidays. And is it good to have a market full of customers who don’t trust retailers to protect them?

Many big retailers have remained silent about what – if anything – they are doing to beef up security around the point of sale in their storefronts, and they have no incentive to improve it. Sales at Target and Home Depot have not suffered significantly since the breaches, so why bother making the investment? I would argue that customer loyalty is a huge reason. For your business, directly addressing how your business has improved or continued to maintain data security would demonstrate a huge prioritization of your customers.

Who would you rather make a big purchase from this holiday season: company A, who has done or said nothing regarding data security, or company B, who recently released a statement asserting their dedication to customers’ data security and their recently-implemented policies and procedures to ensure your safety? I don’t know about you, but company B seems to be more concerned about my money, my family and my time.

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