Retail: secure your operations during festive season!3 min read


Keep your holidays jolly – take these key precautions to keep cyber attacks at bay!

Did you know?

According to a 2017 study by PwC, cyber attacks on UK retailers were up by 30% year-on-year, yet only 58% of retailers have an overall security strategy. The same PwC report revealed that the retail and consumer sector suffered on average of over 4,000 security incidents in 12 months, with 16% of these resulting in losses of more than £780,000.

According to the British Retail Consortium’s own Retail Crime Survey, around 53% of fraud reported in the retail space is cyber-fraud, equating to around £100 million in costs per annum. Hacking and data breaches accounted for around 5% of the total, around £36 million.

Due to the frenetic nature of the holiday season, organisations are even more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Increased online shopping, customers looking for the best deals and the excitement of the season provide cyber criminals the perfect opportunity to cause substantial and damaging disruptions. VMWare’s Carbon Black Threat Analysis Unit disclosed that organisations faced an increase of over 50% in attempted cyber attacks during the 2017 holiday season, starting immediately after Black Friday. This follows a trend of increased cyber threats at this point in the year. This is an issue that should be considered as soon as possible – the sooner you and your organisation are prepared for these threats, the more likely your business operations will be resilient to attacks and run smoothly over the holidays.

According to Accenture’s 2019 report titled “Securing Customer Trust; Achieving Cyber Resilience in Retail”, 72% of retail executives are unsure when cyber attacks will happen, what damage they will cause or how to effectively prevent them. So, what can you do to ensure that your operations remain secure and your business continues to run as usual? Or, if you’re a consumer, how can you protect your personal information? Here are a few tips to maintain cyber security.

  • Make sure that your security software and firewalls are up-to-date.
  • Vendors see an increase in online traffic during this time of year, so make sure to have a plan in place to balance website traffic and divert DDOS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks.
  • Beware of phishing – unexpected emails from disreputable sources are more likely to succeed during this time of year due to the amount of online shopping and tracking emails that people receive. Similarly, always use trusted sources and websites, and double-check that any website you are entering personal identifying information into is legitimate.
  • Keep your third-party ecosystem compliant and secure. Most organisations have outside vendors or other third parties that contribute to their daily operations (such as e-commerce), and ensuring that their cyber health is as strong as yours will protect your enterprise and your customers. Consider using a vendor risk management software (like CyDesk) to identify, analyse and manage any liabilities.
  • Implement a management strategy driven by up-to-date, accurate data, and in line with your overall business plan. Additionally, have an Incident Response Strategy in place, ready to be activated if any issues arise. Continuously check that the security measures you’ve established are effective, and make necessary adjustments as the season progresses.

Being in control of your cyber security this holiday season will keep enterprise and consumer data safe and lead to increased customer trust and satisfaction. CyDesk can help you anticipate potential cyber threats, create an effective management plan and continually review your security status, preventing data breaches and reducing other business risks. The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year – don’t let cyber attacks ruin it!

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