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The Evolution Of Retail Cybersecurity

Cyberattacks are a common threat for retail businesses of all sizes. That’s mainly because, today, retailers have more access to customer data, and they rely more on cloud-based storage. Not to forget the shifts brought about by the pandemic, including the switch to remote working models and social distancing guidelines that have driven more consumers to shop online.

Cyber attacks and data breaches cost businesses more than just a few bucks as it chips off their reputation and could make them lose customers while also making it challenging to gain new ones. Currently, there is a significantly increased risk of cyberattacks with the accelerated shift to e-commerce over the past year. These threats have hindered the digital journeys of many retailers.

Retail cybersecurity evolution is geared towards creating safer workplaces and robust, secure, and contactless online customer engagements. Read on to discover some notable changes in the retail cybersecurity space.

Credit Card Skimmers

E-skimming or credit card skimming is a technique hackers use to inject malicious code into online store’s checkout pages. They are primarily targeted to sites that use self-removal and process a large volume of credit card numbers. The malicious code copies customer’s personal and financial information and sends this information back to the attackers.

Online credit card skimming uses sophisticated tactics, like steganography, to embed malware on online site images. E-skimming is more profitable and sophisticated; thus, it casts a shadow over the previously popular POS malware scheme. That, combined with the enhanced security measures against POS malware, has seen a significant decline in POS malware threats.

Online Fraud

Online fraud mainly involves digital attackers setting up staging accounts of their own or breaking into a legitimate shopper’s account. Some fraudsters may also use phishing email scams where they masquerade as online stores to obtain sensitive data from unsuspecting customers.

They take some time to gain the customer’s trust before using these resources to scam consumers using different techniques, like reshipping scams.


Cybercriminals use malicious software to encrypt your data and prevent you from accessing it until you pay a ransom. These attacks are targeted to peak seasons, particularly when businesses can not afford to have any downtime. Therefore, business owners are compelled to pay the ransom fast to regain access to their data and continue with their operations. Otherwise, they end up incurring significant revenue losses, reputational damage, and customer losses.

IoT Device Vulnerability

Online retailers need to use more internet-connected devices, including POS hardware inventory tracking tools and security cameras. Although connecting everything over the internet has multiple benefits, it poses significant cybersecurity threats. That’s because it opens several loopholes for cyber attackers. Access to these devices gives the attackers the power to harm or manipulate retailers and customers in multiple ways.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

DDoS attacks are malicious attacks meant to disrupt regular website traffic by clogging up servers or networks with a flood of internet traffic. The threat of these attacks has increased now that more and more people are working from home. They are used to target internet-connected devices that are already infected with malware. The affected devices are known as bots, and the attackers easily control them.

Evolution of Cybersecurity Best Practices

Although cybersecurity threats are increasing in the retail industry, so are the best practices and solutions to these threats. As a retailer, you need to understand these best practices to protect yourself and your employees against cyber attacks. Below are some of the best practices against cybersecurity threats.

Data Encryption

It is crucial to encrypt data as it moves from one point to another because it is open to multiple security threats. A decryption key is provided at the destination point, and whatever encryption method you opt to use must also allow ease of use to the authorized data users.

Employee Training

Data protection training for all employees is essential to mitigate threats caused by negligent practices. For the training to be effective, it must be consistent, cover physical and digital security, and have management support.

Network Segmentation

Network segmentation helps secure the most sensitive data on a network, such as personally identifiable information, POS details, and financial data. It effectively protects against insider attacks because user access is restricted to specific parts of the network only.

Threat Intelligence

Threat intelligence helps retailers to keep up with the latest threats in their specific sectors. Additionally, they understand the past and upcoming threats to help organizations prepare, identify, and prevent possible cyber threats.


Your best bet against the most common retail cybersecurity threats is knowing what these threats are, how they are evolving, and the best practices to match. There are many more threats with the advancement in technology and growing remote workforce so ensure you are always in the know to protect your organization from these threats.

Originally posted 2021-07-28 20:33:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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