Retail cybersecurity and data protection
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have catalysed the digital transformation of the retail industry. Rather than physically visiting brick-and-mortar stores, several consumers today rely on e-commerce platforms, mobile apps, and other online options to shop from the comfort of their homes. In an effort to stay relevant and competitive, retailers worldwide now offer digital shopping experiences and cashless payment options. While this transition is beneficial for business owners and consumers alike, it also opens the door to online threats from hackers and other cybercriminals. Contemporary digital retail security solutions are designed to protect businesses and their online financial transactions and keep their customers’ sensitive information safe and secure from malicious actors looking to commit fraud. This blog will shed light on these risks as well as highlight popular cybersecurity trends in the retail industry.
Cybersecurity threats in retail
Retail establishments today accumulate, handle, and store massive amounts of customer data. This usually includes Personally Identifiable Information (PII), purchase histories, credit card details, and more. The use of cloud-based storage, connected devices, and mobile applications all contribute to a growing digital footprint. While all this data can help streamline the online shopping process, cybercriminals may attempt to steal and misuse this information for profit. Below are some common retail cybersecurity threats.
In a phishing scam, the fraudster sends out emails designed to fool the recipient into believing they are from a legitimate, trusted source. These emails usually contain damaging attachments or links that appear quite innocuous. Clicking on these links can give the attacker access to the system, allowing them to steal sensitive information or introduce malware.
Ransomware attacks are when hackers introduce malicious software into a retailer’s systems that encrypts their data, rendering it inaccessible. This halts all business processes until the business owners pay a ransom to the cybercriminals to decrypt their data. Not only do ransomware attacks result in large monetary losses, they can also irreparably damage a business’s reputation.
Attacks on IoT devices
While contactless digital payment methods using connected devices are growing extremely popular, they aren’t immune to cyber attacks. Hackers who gain access to IoT devices can steal payment information and customer credentials, conduct fraudulent transactions, and more.
Supply chain attacks
Rather than attacking a retailer’s systems directly, cyber criminals may focus on infiltrating the third-party vendors within the supply chain. The fraudsters will attempt to exploit security vulnerabilities in these vendors’ systems and, from here, target the retailer and their systems. There may be a number of potential weaknesses across the network of products and services within the retail supply chain, and a security breach at any vendor can have far-reaching effects on interconnected retailers.
Retail data protection and cybersecurity tips
Retailers should consider adopting the following e-commerce fraud protection strategies to keep their businesses and customers safe from cyber attacks.
Use multi-factor authentication
With the methods employed by cybercriminals constantly evolving, basic password protection just isn’t enough to keep customer accounts secure. Using a combination of biometrics, security tokens, smart cards, and other modern forms of digital identification to authenticate customers before they can complete transactions adds a much-needed layer of security.
Incorporate employee training programs
Even with the most cutting-edge cybersecurity measures in place, human error could lead to avoidable security breaches. Employees who are not well informed about the latest cybersecurity trends in the retail industry could unwittingly be a hacker’s victim and the system’s point of entry. That is why it is important to conduct regular training initiatives for your retail security solution. It is also a good idea to conduct mock drills to gauge employee response and modify the training modules accordingly.
Employ data encryption
It is generally not a good idea to store sensitive customer data, like banking or credit card details. However, if it becomes necessary to retain such information, encrypting the data can prevent it from being stolen or misused.
Regularly backup data
Routine backups of your e-commerce site’s data greatly reduce the chances of severe data loss in the event of a phishing or ransomware attack. A managed service provider can even automate the backup process at predetermined intervals.
While the digital transformation of the retail sector can help businesses grow, offer convenience to consumers, save time, and streamline financial transactions, it does bring with it various cybersecurity risks. Business owners must consider adopting modern retail security solutions to prevent financial losses and maintain consumer trust.
How can Infosys BPM help with cybersecurity in the retail sector?
Infosys BPM offers comprehensive retail data protection with a cutting-edge Retail and E-commerce Fraud Management Solution that uses artificial intelligence and puts a team of experienced fraud detection experts at your disposal. Reach out to learn about customised e-commerce fraud protection solutions for your business.