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Why Cybercriminals Target Retailers – And How to End This Trend

Retail cybersecurity

A whopping 24% of cyberattacks target retailers―disproportionately more than any other vertical market. Cybercriminals assume that hacking retailers will be highly lucrative because retailers acquire vast amounts of customer data. Through daily transactions, retailers collect customer credit card information, email addresses, and other Personally Identifiable Information (PII). On top of this, as Retail Tech News reported, retailers are “woefully unprepared” to withstand cyber threats, especially when compared to other industries. And cybercriminals know it.

When it comes to attacks, retailers face ransomware, social engineering/phishing scams, attacks on IoT devices or payment systems, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, supply chain attacks and data breaches. Because many retailers operate on slim margins, it can be difficult to afford the time, money and resources necessary to maintain a strong security posture and keep pace with aggressive threats.

This is where Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services can help. MDR services – like those from Hughes -- combine proactive intervention, real-time incident response and threat containment to keep cybercriminals at bay. These services are typically delivered by a Managed Service Provider (MSP) or Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) and leverage a variety of tools and offerings, including:

  • Managed Firewall―ensures that a network’s firewalls have clear and well-maintained policy rules, are patched and updated when needed. Firewalls actively monitor network traffic for threats and attacks.
  • Managed Unified Threat Management (UTM)―better known as a Next-Generation Firewall, UTM bundles multiple security features together, such as content filtering and network access controls, into a single service.
  • Endpoint Protection―detects and blocks file-based malware and malicious activity that may arise on a network’s endpoint devices, such as servers, laptops, printers, point-of-sale (POS) devices and security cameras.
  • Advanced Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)―supports threat detection, compliance and security incident management by applying artificial intelligence (AI) and analyzing security event-related data.
  • Incident Response―guides the ability to identify, analyze and disrupt cyber threat activities.
  • Managed Compliance―automates the steps required for compliance and reporting, and enables retailers to comply with PCI-DSS standards and to safeguard customer data and PII.

MDR services can also include the people, processes and technologies necessary to continuously monitor and improve a retailer’s security posture around the clock, through what’s known as Security Operations Center as a Service (SOCaaS). Comprehensive services like MDR offer retailers a cost-effective path to proactively protecting their networks, their businesses and their customers’ data―in a bundled solution that can be implemented far faster and more efficiently than building and maintaining a standalone security solution.

Retailers that implement MDR services and have a seasoned security partner like Hughes to rely on, will never be accused of being “woefully unprepared” when it comes to cyber threats and attacks.