The cybersecurity threat rate in Europe is 28% higher than the global average, and ( retail is one of the least-prepared sectors when it comes to defending against cyberattacks. The research found that around 64% of retail brands have at least one significant cybersecurity vulnerability that could be easily exploited, compared to 61% of financial services companies and 56% of tech companies.
According to a study, during the week approaching Black Friday, Romania experienced a 4,349% rise in cyber threats. Belgium, Lithuania and Germany also experienced huge spikes of 440%, 95% and 75%, respectively.
Cyber criminals don’t care that it’s the season of goodwill. In fact, they intentionally take advantage of the increased online activity and transactions in the run up to Christmas.
Common Threats Facing the Retail Industry
The data showed that during Black Friday week, riskware was the most common threat (43.7%), followed by heuristic (12.4%) and adware (9.2%).
If you’re not familiar with these terms, here are some short explanations:
- Riskware – any legitimate programs that pose potential risks, possibly due to security vulnerabilities
- Heuristic – a heuristic virus can disable antivirus software and change security settings
- Adware – can look like a trustworthy program but once installed, they monitor the internet connection to trigger other malware. They also allow undesirable advertisements in browsers.
Protect Your Customers and Your Business
Cyberattacks affect the availability, integrity and confidentiality of data. Customer data can be stolen, user accounts closed and webpages blocked. At best, this disrupts the user experience and halts online sales. At worst, your brand reputation is damaged forever.