How retailers can protect themselves from cybersecurity threats


Statistics have it that retail industries face three times as many attacks as any other industry. Supporting this fact are the successful attacks launched on big retail companies: Target, Home Depot, Eddie Bauer and Vera Bradley, who have fallen victim to the tricks of cyber criminals resulting in loss of money and reputation.

Similarly, a recent security analysis focused on the 48 biggest holiday retailers shows that big-box retailers, including those who ranked high, had loopholes in DNS health, social engineering and network security. If these loopholes are left unaddressed, threat actors might compromise their retail system to steal funds and credit card details. While keeping a completely secure system is an ongoing process, here are steps that retailers can take to strengthen their cybersecurity:

  • have strong domain and network security: investing in a high-quality and secure domain provider is paramount as it shields the administrative portal of your website content management system from exposure and impersonation. Also, having an SSL certificate to secure and encrypt data on the page is essential, especially for retailers that process personal information such as addresses and credit card numbers for e-commerce purchases
  • establish strong password policies: make it a habit to create unique and strong multi-factor passwords and username and change it at intervals, especially the default login information. This approach will further protect you from hackers who could have gained entrance into your administrative portals, as passwords are required for any further operation
  • create a regular patching routine: keep up with the latest patches and update your security software regularly as it mitigates cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Have a unified security approach as it pays off in the long run than the decentralised pattern
  • segment networks: segment various applications and databases and group them into items of similar sensitivity. That way, you will limit traffic within the high-risk zones, which helps break up data into many pathways in the case of a malware attack
  • test through the eyes of a hacker: loopholes are always discovered easily by hackers, and running a test on your security system through the service of a white hat will help you detect and strengthen possible security lapses
  • boost employee awareness: educating your employees about cyber threats will help mitigate the risk that cybercriminals peddle. Have constant awareness seminars to teach your employees how to detect, avoid and stop any impending attacks, both old and new ones.

Other security approaches include backing up your business data and websites to be able to recover them in case of any cyber attack and encrypting important information. Have standard policies to guide your staff and ensure constant security checkups.