Because they regularly deal in monetary transactions, retailers are under constant threat from malicious actors. This has become even more pronounced with the increase in online shopping. To know what would happen if IT services of a retailer were attacked, we only have to look at their balance sheet. Attacking and shutting down the IT infrastructure could effectively reduce their current online revenue to zero. And this doesn’t even begin to address the future fallout from its loss of reputation as a safe and secure retailer. Online shoppers are necessarily savvy and they won’t spend much time on a retailer’s website that appears insecure or under attack.
For a busy online retailer, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack can be devastating. Not only can it shut down retail commerce, but it can also create questions of confidence in the consumers. Consequently, the problems associated with DDoS attacks are not only immediate but can lead to ramifications far into the future. While there are many different types of DDoS attacks, there are a few basic defences against them. Ultimately the retailer needs to understand the warning signs, secure their network, and have a plan in place in case a DDoS attack does occur.
In our information-based world, there’s a price tag applied to all types of information. Sensitive information is most lucrative in the hands of criminals. This could be credit card numbers, passwords, personal identity information, and more. As a trusted retailer, it’s crucially important to protect this information at almost any cost. Failing to do so could lead to the downfall of the business. This could be caused by customer reticence or disciplinary proceedings. Most often, breaches of these kinds are a result of a phishing attack. Cybercriminals regularly trick their way into the retailer’s system through malicious links, recycled passwords, gathering of insecure information, or bypassing insufficient defences. And while retailers need to ensure their systems are secure, employees need to be educated in the methods of the phishing cybercriminal.
Ransomware is one of the more recent online scams used to attack retailers and other businesses. And because it’s new, it can be even more dangerous and devastating. Ransomware is usually characterized by the encryption of a retailer’s data after a breach of its IT services by a cybercriminal. The perpetrator then demands a ransom for the release of the data. This is often when the importance of keeping backup files comes to the forefront. Generally, victims are advised not to pay the ransom because there’s no guarantee that they’ll receive access to the data after the payment has been made. However, without backups and prudent prevention methods, ransomware can be very difficult to surmount once it’s taken hold. System security, regular update installation, and maintaining a functioning firewall are all necessary for prevention.
The best antidote to an attack on the IT services of a retailer is a pre-approved plan for recovery. The problem with creating such plans is that there are hopes that they never need to be used. This can make the process seem tedious and trivial during its construction. However, having the foresight to invest the resources necessary to create and test a credible recovery protocol is an insurance policy that’s just as important as protecting against something like a fire or a flood. You hope you’ll never need to use your expensive fire extinguisher but having it on hand when it’s needed could save your livelihood.
To learn more about how Managed Services can help keep your business protected against cyber threats and attacks, get a free assessment today.
MBC security tip: always update the firmware. Take a moment to check when your firmware was last updated. If it's not up to date, patch without delay. Set your devices to automatically install updates where possible. mbccs.com/it-business-so… #cybersecurity #security #itsecurity pic.twitter.com/7odKqiRb18