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Six Cybersecurity threats every retailer should know about

Six Cybersecurity threats every retailer should know about

In recent years, IT trends like AI, omnichannel marketing, and eCommerce have exploded onto the scene. And with new technology and ways of using technology, come new cyber threats.

The retail industry, in particular, is a prime target for cyber attacks. This is due to the massive amount of customer data collected, processed, and stored by retail businesses.

Here’s some of the key types of cyber threats all retailers should be alert to:

1. Point-of-Sale (POS) attacks

POS systems can be targeted by hackers looking to steal payment card data. Malware can be installed on these systems to capture customers’ card information.

2. Phishing and social engineering attacks

Retail employees are often the targets of phishing emails or social engineering attacks orchestrated to trick them into sharing login details or other sensitive information.

3. Third-party vendor risks

Many retailers rely on third-party vendors for various services, such as payment processing, inventory management, and website hosting. However, these suppliers can also pose a risk if they have weak security practices that can be exploited by hackers.

4. Internal risks

Team members with access to sensitive information such as business login credentials can pose a risk if the proper cybersecurity measures aren’t taken (such as 2-factor authentication). Without the right security processes in place, something as small and unintentional as a lost employee laptop can have devastating effects on retailers.

5. Ransomware attacks

Retailers are also at risk of ransomware attacks, which can result in the encryption of sensitive data and demands for payment in exchange for the decryption key.

6. eCommerce attacks

There are a number of schemes designed specifically to exploit weaknesses in eCommerce store systems. New types of eCommerce cyber attacks are emerging all the time, but some of the most well-known ones include:

  • Cross-site scripting, which involves hackers inserting a section of malicious code into your website to expose your site visitors to malware, phishing, or other attacks.
  • SQL injection, which targets eCommerce sites that improperly store data in a SQL database. This scheme is designed to take advantage of the vulnerable database to access and manipulate stored information.
  • E-skimming, a cyber crime that involves hackers gaining access to your site and stealing customers’ payment information in real-time, as they make purchases.



As always, when it comes to cyber threats, prevention is better than a cure. And there’s plenty you can do to defend against retail-targeted cyber threats.

Security measures such as data encryption, access controls, regular cloud backups, and consistent employee training are just some of the ways you can protect your business from cyber threats.

Of course, all retailers should also have comprehensive disaster recovery measures in place as a last line of defence.

However, many retail businesses are faced with another IT challenge altogether. In Australia, the demand for IT professionals is outweighing the supply.

This has led to an uptick in burnout among IT professionals, who have found themselves taking on enormous workloads.

For plenty of Aussie retailers, the IT talent shortage has also meant that cybersecurity measures aren’t being consistently implemented, updated, or adjusted to protect against new emerging risks. Sadly, this leaves them vulnerable to cyber threats.

But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way – because we’re here to help.

Our team industry experts are passionate about helping retailers thrive in an ever-changing environment.

To learn more about how we can tailor security strategies to help mitigate cyber threats to your business, book a free consultation with one of our retail specialists and let’s chat.

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