Intelligent CISO Issue 52 | Page 44

industry unlocked


The retail industry is heavily targeted by cybercriminals – and as the COVID-19 pandemic caused more people to shop online , the e-commerce space has now become a major focus for cybercriminals . Therefore , retailers must now improve their security defences and Rashid Ali , Enterprise Solutions Manager at WALLIX , discusses the ways they can do this to ensure positive change in the retail space .
hether you are a retail

W giant or a smaller regional shop , the risk of a cyberattack can be just as a great . Retailers hold a wealth of sensitive data on their customers , from names and addresses through to spending habits , bank cards and other personal identifiably information – a gold mine for cybercriminals . So , it hardly comes as a surprise that attacks are on the rise . But the good news is that there are steps retailers can take to boost their security defences .

Embracing technology
One of the primary reasons that the retail industry is seen as a hot target is because its infrastructure can be vulnerable and easy to break into . Retail systems are often created by using a combination of different technologies available over a long timeframe . Typically , this means that both legacy infrastructure is in place as well as new cloud based or digital innovations . For example , think of old point of sale systems and cash registers on the frontend , which are essential to support on-site customers . But this is usually also combined with some type of cloud system that powers the e-commerce side of the business .
The mixed technological state of retail is largely driven by the industry ’ s desire and need to provide omnichannel touchpoints for consumers . To remain competitive , retailers need to provide convenience for their customers and this means offering different ways that are easy and familiar to pay . As a result , there is often a reluctance to upgrade systems and implement new and improved cash registers or POD systems . After all , now more than ever each transaction counts and retailers do not want to face complex systems or barriers that may prevent sales .
However , we are seeing retailers looking to upgrade their digital offerings and enter the e-commerce space . The pandemic has certainly had a part to play in pushing this forward with many retailers forced to embrace digital ways to conduct business as the only way to keep sales coming through . But , while combined these old and new systems meet retailers ’ goals of both efficiency and scalability – they also present multiple potential attack vectors for cybercriminals and many retailers are often unaware of this increased risk .
Risky business in retail
So , just how often do cyberattacks really impact the retail sector ? Recent research is pointing to a rise in cybercrime , especially as many retailers rushed through their Digital Transformation . In fact , data on the UK market showed we are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks , with one in every five attacks targeting an online retail business ( 21 %). These
Rashid Ali , Enterprise Solutions Manager at WALLIX
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