The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has collaborated with experts at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, to develop a new toolkit that helps reduce the threat of cyber-attacks.

The Cyber Resilience Toolkit for Retail is part of BRC’s strategy to increase cyber resilience across the retail industry.

Specifically designed for non-cyber experts including board members, senior strategic employees and start-up businesses, the toolkit serves as an actionable guide and highlights threats faced by retailers.

Additionally, the toolkit provides guidance on the types of protections retailers should implement, recommends action on preventing breaches through stronger protections and more.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE said: “This toolkit, developed with the input of the National Cyber Security Centre, will ensure all retailers, no matter their size or level of cyber expertise, are well-equipped to face the challenge of cybersecurity.

“This is yet another example of the BRC supporting retailers through the ongoing digital transformation. Furthermore, consumers must also play their part, and more must be done to educate the public on basic cyber hygiene so that they are able to browse and shop safely.”

Last year, retail firms spent £186m to protect their customers and prevent future breaches.

The huge shift to online commerce following the coronavirus pandemic has made the retail industry one of the most targeted, BRC added.

In May, online sales represented more than a third of all retail sales (32.8%) compared with 18.8% during the same period last year. Earlier this month, Australia supermarket chain Coles temporarily was closed after facing problems with its point of sale system.