As retail businesses digitize their processes, they face new security challenges. These include navigating new regulatory environments and protecting sensitive customer data against growing cyber-attacks. These attacks are designed to disrupt, disable, or destroy a computer environment/infrastructure or steal controlled information. Attacks are carried out using software or hardware to gain entry into a system.
Invest in a Secure Network
Cyber attacks pose a threat of cybersecurity for retailers, but small firms take more hits than larger ones. This is because hackers target smaller companies as they are easier to hack and can hide their activities better.
With this in mind, investing in a secure network is essential.
This can be done by ensuring that all hardware and software are up to date, removing any USB sticks or portable hard drives from employee workstations (as these could carry malware and other threats from home), and using strong passwords for all employees.
Retailers must also invest in a managed security service provider that can provide optimal protection and threat intelligence. This can reduce risk, protect customer data and improve performance.
With the increasing number of e-commerce retailers, cybersecurity is essential to ensure customers’ safety.
This includes multifactor authentication (MFA) to prevent phishing attacks and account takeovers and protect against DDoS attacks that can cause website outages.
With so many cyberattacks targeting retail, keeping up with the latest threats and vulnerabilities is essential. This can be done by ensuring all software and equipment are current, including Wi-Fi routers.
Vendors often release updates that strengthen the software or close security holes, so implementing these is essential. Additionally, it is crucial to back up all data regularly so that there is still access to information if something goes wrong.
Invest in a Secure POS System
A point-of-sale (POS) system is like a modern cash register. It can do many tasks that traditional registers can’t, such as automatically calculating sales tax and discounts, managing staff schedules, storing transaction data, and tracking inventory.
POS systems can be used in physical stores and online. They can be a combination of hardware and software, and they usually include a touchscreen monitor, a receipt printer, a card reader (or barcode scanner if needed), and a cash drawer or smart safe if accepting cash.
Many also come with 24/7 phone and chat support in the U.S. Transaction processing fees typically vary between 1.5% and 3.5% of each sale, with additional costs for e-commerce, accounting integrations, and loyalty programs.
Cybercriminals have an insatiable thirst for credit card data, and large retailers may process thousands of daily transactions through their POS terminals.
POS terminals can be vulnerable to attacks if not correctly configured or protected, such as by installing updates regularly and using two-factor authentication (2FA).
Most POS systems offer integrations that allow them to connect to other business systems for greater efficiency and functionality, such as email marketing or loyalty programs.
Some POS systems also integrate with security cameras to provide improved loss-prevention capabilities. The best POS systems pair transaction text overlay with video surveillance to give businesses new insights into each sale.
Invest in a Secure Website
Cyber attacks are a constant threat to retailers and tiny businesses. The bad news is that a data breach can cost a company $427 per minute of downtime, and one in four customers will stop doing business with a retailer that experiences a cyberattack.
For e-commerce companies, cybersecurity issues are particularly troublesome. These companies don’t have physical walls, and their staff works remotely from various locations around the globe.
This makes them the prime target for cyberattacks. Luckily, there are several ways that a retail business can protect itself against cyberattacks.
To start, retailers should invest in a secure website. Securing a site can help prevent hackers from stealing sensitive information and accessing financial data.
It can also help avoid phishing attacks that involve hackers using email or text messages to ask victims to click on fake, official-looking information.
It can also protect against SQL injection attacks, which allow criminals to hack into databases and get access to passwords, credit card numbers, bank account information, and other valuable data.
Another way to keep a website secure is by backing it up regularly. Backing up a website doesn’t cost much, and it is essential for any retail business that wants to stay safe from cyberattacks.
Invest in a Secure Email Server
Cyber attacks can be devastating for retail businesses. In 2021, losses from business email compromise (BEC) threats reached nearly $2.4 billion1. But the damage doesn’t stop there.
Retailers can also lose customer trust if personal information is breached. Many of these attacks occur through phishing, where threat actors trick victims into clicking malicious links or attachments that can steal sensitive data.
They can also install malware to encrypt systems and bring transactions to a halt until they’re paid a ransom. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to these attacks, needing more resources and expertise to secure their networks.
These breaches can give criminals access to valuable financial and customer data, which they can sell on underground markets for large payouts.
Hackers can also use stolen passwords to attack larger targets like suppliers and financial institutions. Choosing a secure email provider that offers end-to-end encryption is essential, which prevents anyone from reading your emails unless they have your private key.
Final Words by Fix The Life
In summary, as retail businesses embrace digitalization, they must address the security challenges associated with cyber-attacks and data breaches. Investing in a secure network, a secure point-of-sale (POS) system, a secure website, and a secure email server is crucial to protect customer data, preventing unauthorized access, and maintain business continuity.
Implementing regular updates, strong passwords, multifactor authentication, and backing up data regularly are essential security measures. By prioritizing cybersecurity, retailers can mitigate risks, safeguard sensitive information, and preserve customer trust.