With the rapid growth of mobile devices, cloud-based applications, credit card purchases, and the Internet of Things (IoT), maintaining network security is more difficult, and more important, than ever before, says Cradlepoint EMEA Vice President, Hubert Da Costa (pictured below).
Although the retail landscape is becoming increasingly distributed, bricks-and-mortar is experiencing a sustained resurgence. Some of the world’s largest online retailers, including Alibaba and Amazon, are testing in-store strategies, and IBM has predicted that buying locally will surpass online buying by 2018 — thanks to cloud-based systems, big data, and predictive analytics.
A new day, a new threat
While this is undoubtedly good news for retailers, the increasingly complex networks required to manage the new ‘connected’ customer experience can increase retailers’ exposure to cyber threats. Data from the National Crime Agency suggests cybercrime accounts for more than half of crimes committed in the UK, and the retail industry is often targeted for its wealth of customer financial data. Some of the most high-profile data breaches in recent years have caused significant reputational damage to a number of leading retail brands.
Data breaches come in all shapes and sizes, and research is showing an increasing prevalence of ransomware targeted specifically at businesses. A recent report from Kaspersky Lab found that ransomware attacks on business increased three-fold between January and September 2016. This equates to an increase from attacks every two minutes to one every 40 seconds.
While the increase in attack frequency is concerning, more serious still is the increase in threat diversity and sophistication. From January to September 2016, 62 new ransomware families were detected, and individual modifications within these families increased from 2,900 to 32,091.
While threats to cybersecurity will continue to increase, there are a number of best practices retailers can…