Fresh research finds that while consumers are aware of the risks of shopping online, most would carry on with web-based retail even if they became victims of cybercrime and lost personal data as a result.


NTT Application Security’s The State of Secure Online Holiday Shopping survey took in the views of over 1,000 online shoppers related to cybersecurity and online holiday shopping.

According to the survey, 35 percent of consumers indicated that they would continue shopping with a retailer that experienced a security breach, while only 25 percent said they would begin taking their business elsewhere. Additionally, less than half of respondents (46 percent) said they would stop shopping with a retailer altogether if their own credit card or personal information was leaked by the company in a security breach.

Despite breaches, trust remains high

Even though over a quarter (26 percent) of respondents had already experienced credit card or identity theft as a direct result of shopping online—with 10 percent of those instances having occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic—most consumers still feel that their personal information is protected.

58 percent of respondents feel that their data is protected when shopping online

40 percent said they feel more secure when shopping online with a large retailer versus a small business

Online shoppers feel significantly more secure storing their credit card information in retail mobile apps (57 percent) compared to e-commerce sites (19 percent)

Online Shoppers Already Taking Measures to Protect Their Information

Most (94 percent) of survey respondents—of which more than half conduct the majority of their shopping online—claim that they are knowledgeable of cybersecurity risks and take the following precautions:

63 percent do not shop online when connected to a public Wi-Fi network

76 percent check to make sure an e-commerce website has a secure HTTPS connection

Craig Hinkley, chief executive officer at NTT Application Security, said:

“Even before the pandemic, companies in the retail and wholesale industry were already among the most targeted by hackers.

“Unfortunately, the urgent demand for merchants large and small to accelerate their shift to e-commerce has ultimately led to an extremely dangerous threat landscape in the retail sector that consumers need to be mindful of while shopping online this holiday season and beyond.”

The figures indicate a sense of trust between consumers and online retailers, a recent study from Juniper Research projects fraudulent activities to cost merchants more than $20 billion by the end of 2021.

With the onus falling on retailers to secure their online storefront or potentially risk paying settlements that can result from a breach, it is now critical for merchants to invest in application security testing that scans for exploitable vulnerabilities without interrupting their business during the holiday shopping season.