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Security warning as Cyber Monday arrives

Retail industry commentators are predicting an online sales splurge today on what in recent years has been dubbed 'Cyber Monday', but businesses operating in the sector have been warned about the potential threat to their website security.

As we have now entered December, the November pay cheques are in and the time period for online orders to be delivered has narrowed, card provider Visa Europe expects more than 7.7 million online transactions will be made in the UK today, which would be up 16% on 2012 and will result in £450 million spent in total over the course of 24 hours.

But research from security solutions provider LogRhythm has suggested that network security will be "pushed to the limits", meaning organisations must keep a constant check on the activity taking place across their IT platforms.

The study also indicated that 53% of consumers would think twice about giving their information to an organisation that had previously experienced a breach of security, highlighting the importance of providing a secure service to online customers.

Ross Brewer, vice president and managing director for international markets at LogRhythm, said: "The spike in network activity that occurs at this time of year shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.

"From retailers processing millions of transactions, to businesses seeing more employees using corporate networks for online shopping – almost every organisation will be affected and there is simply no excuse for not having the correct security measures in place."

According to Visa Europe's figures, today will see £312,500 spent online every minute, which equates to £5,208 per second.

It comes after a busy week for Christmas shopping, with the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark revealing that internet shopping is already up on last year. On Monday 25 November online sales were reportedly 33.5% up on the same Monday in 2012.

Mobile traffic grew to 42.4% of all online traffic, an increase of 68% year on year, while sales completed via mobile devices jumped 81.5% to exceed 31% of total online sales.

New insight from digital commerce solutions provider Venda also reveals that it has been evident for a number of weeks that online retailers are on track for their best ever Christmas. Daily online spending in the build-up to the weekend 30 November-1 December was apparently already up by 54%, with shoppers also spending longer online than last year.

Eric Abensur, CEO of Venda, commented: “The Christmas quarter can make or break a high street retailer, as the January closures earlier this year have shown.  For retailers to make the most of the gifting season, our data indicates that they should continue to offer great deals throughout the run-up to Christmas and not just for one weekend.

"In fact, retailers that are already planning for the entire Christmas period, rather than just the ‘Cyber Weekend’, may already be getting an early Christmas present – with online sales in the run-up to the holidays due to break recent records."