According to a Wednesday data threat report from Thales, “retail is the prime cybercrime target.”

Though no industry is entirely safe from the ever-present threat of cybercrime, 84% of US retail respondents, according to the report, are upping IT security spending. This is ahead of the global average (78%), and notably higher than the global retail average (67%).

SEE: Digital transformation in retail: How consumers are using tech to make shopping easier and more enjoyable (Tech Pro Research)

This rise in spending could be due to previous security breaches. The report noted that 50% of US retail respondents suffered a security breach last year, while the global average of security breaches for all industries was only 36%( 27% for retail).

The US retail industry, according to the report, is more inclined to store sensitive data during its digital transformation.

Though 49% of respondents reported feeling vulnerable to data attacks, the Thales report found that US retail companies are spending most of their money on the least effective cyber defenses.

According to the report, analysis and correlation tools were ranked by 91% of US retail respondents for effectiveness, closely followed by data-in-motion defenses at 90%.

At 77%, endpoint/mobile defenses were ranked as the least effective. Despite this, 72% of US retail respondents rated this as their top priority for spending increases. Similarly, the solutions ranked most effective fell to the bottom of spending priorities for US retail respondents.

SEE: Tech budgets 2019: A CXO’s guide (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

The report noted data security doesn’t receive a lot of spending attention. A barrier to improving cyberdefense could be a perceived lack of need for it, as 52% of US retail respondents reported. Additional factors in the report included the impact on business performance (47%) and perceptions of complexity (46%).

Retail CIOs must be extra vigilant with cyber threats becoming increasingly common in their industry, and they should revisit their security budget with the most effective tools in mind.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • According to a report from Thales, the retail industry is the prime target for cybercrime.
  • Thales research shows that US retail respondents are spending the most money on the least effective security solutions, putting them at risk.