Retailers Still View Customer Data Security as 'Checkbox,' Study Finds

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A new report from RSR Research shows that Retailers are collecting more personal data about customers, holding onto that data longer, and still not taking adequate steps to protect it. The Customer Data Security Benchmark Report 2008 helps retailers understand the challenges and opportunities associated with the use of customer-specific data, and provides recommendations for how retailers can best leverage customer-specific information - while still ensuring privacy and security.

Ultimately resolving fundamental issues in legacy operational systems to proactively manage the integrity and security of customer-specific data is essential.

Most retailers collect consumer data and keep it for two years or more, but many have not taken adequate steps to ensure the security of that data, according to a new RSR Research report, Customer Data Security Benchmark Report 2008: PCI and Beyond. RSR's research confirms that although retailers seek to use customer-specific data to create differentiating value for consumers, many have not looked beyond current industry compliance mandates such as the PCI Data Security Standard to consider how to proactively ensure that customers' privacy will be protected.

"PCI Compliance doesn't necessarily mean security", said Brian Kilcourse, Managing Director and co-author of the report. "Both the opportunities and risks associated with customer-specific data are fluid. Not only does this create fiduciary risk, but it also potentially impacts retailers' ability to execute on business strategies."

"Viewing compliance as a 'checkbox' is simply not enough," echoed Steve Rowen, RSR Partner and the report's co-author. "Ultimately resolving fundamental issues in legacy operational systems to proactively manage the integrity and security of customer-specific data is essential."

RSR's new study, Customer Data Security Benchmark Report 2008: PCI Compliance and Beyond, identifies the internal obstacles retailers face as they seek to securely use customer data and the methods retail winners use to overcome those obstacles.

The report highlights challenges and opportunities that retailers face when using customer-specific data in order to create compelling value for consumers. Most importantly, it provides recommendations for solving the paradox of using customer-specific information - and ensuring privacy and security.

To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, click here or follow this link:

About Retail Systems Research
Retail Systems Research ("RSR") is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large. To learn more about RSR, visit


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