Vormetric: U.S. Retailers Spending Security Funds on Wrong Solutions Thinkstock

Vormetric: U.S. Retailers Spending Security Funds on Wrong Solutions

Retailers tend to focus more on protecting brand than preventing data breaches.

U.S. retailers are spending more money than ever on data protection, but a general lack of understanding as to which areas require the most attention is still a major issue, according to a new report from Vormetric and 452 Research.

The statistics were culled from the 4th annual Retail Edition of the 2016 Vormetric Data Threat Report. The updated study includes responses from more than 100 U.S. retail organizations in addition to findings based on the earlier global study of 1,100 senior IT security executives worldwide.

A majority of retailers surveyed said they spend most of their security budget on network defenses, end point solutions and mobile device solutions, despite the fact that data-at-rest defenses and data-in-motion defenses are more effective means of protection. Furthermore, protecting a company’s brand and reputation were seen as the top data protection drivers for retail, with data breach prevention ranking as the least concern, despite the fact that the two issues are deeply intertwined.

“With frequent, high profile data breaches occurring, it seems a complete miss that preventing them is at the bottom of a retailer’s IT security spending priority list,” said Tina Stewart, vice president of Marketing for Vormetric. “Surprisingly, they are also failing to connect the dots about the best solutions to use. With tremendous sets of detailed customer behavior and personal information in their custody, and with retailers a prime target for hackers, we’d expect to see more investments in data security, than in less than fully effective tools like network and anti-virus security.”

Despite the general lack of concern for protecting their most critical assets, there is hope that more retailers are beginning to understand that data protection and brand protection go hand in hand. Vormetric reported that 44 percent of respondents plan to invest in data-at-rest defenses this year.

To see the rest of this year's findings, click here.

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