Retailers in Singapore to beef up their cyber security investment: Verizon

Nurdianah Md Nur

Retailers in Singapore need to improve their security against payment card data breaches, according to Verizon.

Verizon's 2014 PCI Compliance Report revealed that three quarters of the businesses in the Asia Pacific region complied with at least 80 percent of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) requirements. However, the figure only corresponds with initial compliance assessment; the majority of them were found to have failed to maintain an ongoing compliance post-assessment. 

This is risky for Singapore consumers as they are more likely to use payment cards to pay for their purchases than consumers in other parts of the Asia Pacific region, according to a Neilsen study that was reported in The Business Times on 12 February 2014. The study found that 39 percent of the Singapore respondents preferred paying via credit cards while 14 percent showed preference for debit cards. Forty-one percent of the Singapore respondents also claimed that they used one payment card on a regular basis while 33 percent used two cards frequently to pay for their purchases.

Singapore is also not invulnerable to security breaches. Just last month, credit card holders from several major banks in Singapore were hit with fraudulent charges from Taiwan-based Neweb Technologies.

As breaches not only inflict financial damages but also cause the decline of a brand value, retailers in Singapore need to step up their investment in cyber security and conduct regular health checks on their IT infrastructure, said Verizon.

Verizon pointed out that besides reducing security risks, being PCI compliant will help retailers to improve business efficiency and increase consumer trust.