According to a recent Ransomware report by Sophos, retail was the second most targeted industry by attackers in 2021. In fact, more than 75% of retail businesses were targeted by Ransomware attacks.
While most of us are looking forward to enjoying the holiday season with family and friends and a lot of us going on a shopping spree, threat actors and cybercriminals on the other hand see a feast of opportunities to unleash Ransomware attack tactics and campaigns designed to target holiday shoppers and retailers.
The massive upsurge in online shopping in recent years has inflated the attack surface making retailers a high-value target industry for attackers across the world. Ransomware actors tend to have a great penchant for organizations that require 100% uptime for their business operations. Businesses in the retail industry ought to serve their customers consistently and they simply can’t operate without extended supply chain partners, 3rd party dependencies, and seamless production systems. This makes retailers a prime target for Ransomware actors, especially during the festive season when sales skyrocket.
Read also: Ransomware actors paralyze a leading French hospital
As downtime is incredibly damaging, retailers are more likely to pay the ransom and less likely to negotiate if an attacker happens to bring down their critical systems halting sales and operations. Attackers also target retail businesses to steal customer data such as payment details, personal information, etc.
Futurism recommends intelligent threat protection ways to help retailers strengthen their security posture and keep Ransomware actors at bay this holiday season and beyond:
Cyber insurance is a must-have for any business in today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2022 is $4.35 million, which is a price many businesses just can’t bear. Having an intelligent threat detection model in place that is equipped with a robust data recovery and backup plan can help a retailer get the best cyber insurance deal.
Ensure good cybersecurity hygiene such as implementing a company-wide security awareness program for the employees. In addition, make sure that all operating systems and critical software are patched and updated regularly with periodic vulnerability assessment and penetration testing or VAPT testing. Also deploying industry-leading advance threat protection (SIEM) solution goes a long way in keeping threat actors at bay.
Assess a handful of managed security services provider options if your enterprise lacks the required security resource pool or expertise. Establish managed endpoint detection and response (EDR) and extended detection and response (XDR) models in place to initiate immediate response action and stop threats before they begin to manifest. XDR on the other hand would help offer better visibility into data across applications, endpoints, networks, cloud, etc.
Most Ransomware attacks involve privileged accounts abuse. Yes, your own employees and/or users can put your organizational cybersecurity posture at high risk. Insider threats can result in irreparable damages. Having a strong insider threat management solution in place can help save the day for you.
Retailers ought to protect themselves from both internal as well as external threats. They ought to ensure that every employee follows proper security protocols. In addition, they need to offer safer and convenient shopping experiences to shoppers. Most importantly, retailers ought to protect customer data at all costs. This includes credit card details, personal information, etc.
Zero Trust is a coming-of-age cybersecurity model that can help retail businesses thwart bad actors. As the name suggests, Zero Trust simplifies risk management by eliminating implicit trust. No matter the situation, user, location, and access method, security stays at the core with Zero Trust Security Service.
As retailers are gearing up for the busiest shopping season, cybercriminals too are prepping up to unleash a wave of cyberattacks that might turn the festive season into misery for many retail companies and their customers.
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