Looking past the $3.4 billion stolen in 2011 from online revenues, reported by CyberSource, the numbers show real success for computer and information security practices. Online revenue growth outpaced the increase in dollar losses for a positive net result. On average, merchants lost about 1% of total online revenue to fraud.
Compare that to traditional retailers who experience shrinkage figures of about 1.45%. That is a tremendous difference to the benefit of online retail and the trend shows it will continue to grow. Online fraud as a percentage of revenue is moving lower, while global retail shrinkage went up in 2011. Shrinkage consists of theft, both internal and external, fraud as well as accounting errors.
The data shows the effectiveness of online security practices in thwarting theft and fraud. Even to the point of exceeding the longstanding history of traditional retail security technology and best known methods.
I will go ahead and say it: doing business online is now more secure for the retailer than the traditional brick-and-mortar model. All thanks to advances and efficiency gains in computer and information security.
With all the fears and threats running rampant, this shows how an industry can embrace security to make real traction in protecting their assets.