Why Retailers Are Being Targeted By Hackers This Season

February 19th · 2 min read

Over the past two years, COVID has affected many things and created a lot of undue hardships. Like most industries, the retail sector wasn’t safe from the fallout of the pandemic either. With the constant lockdowns occurring all across the globe, stores were frequently forced to close their brick and mortar locations and move operations online to try to soften the economic blow of the Coronavirus. Guess what? The thieves took their operations online as well!

A breached Ecommerce site can cost a retail operation in numerous ways, but why do hackers keep infiltrating retail companies?

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Difficult To Stay Updated

One of the biggest reasons retailers keep being targeted by hackers is because most of them aren’t compliant with the PCI data security requirements drafted by credit card companies and banks. This leaves many retail operations vulnerable to sophisticated cyber-attacks. While a retailer can have advanced security to defend against breaches without considering PCI guidelines, many companies set themselves up for a catastrophic attack.

Access to a Tidalwave of Transactions

Hackers almost always target retail locations because of the practically unlimited amount of transactions that occur each day by customers shopping their websites. The private financial data that is exchanged during a transaction is collected and then sold on the dark web to the highest bidder. The truth is that most retailers aren’t equipped to battle even the most basic cyberattacks, and yet, every time customers purchase with them, they give them access to all of their financial assets.

What’s the Next Move?

The first move that retailers should make is to take inventory of the primary applications being used to operate successfully and determine the risk level of each application. From there, decide what security measures you would like to see activated to protect from those risks and implement. The next step would be to put a cyber security firm in charge of your online protection. There are several reputable firms for you to choose from.

Consider Converting To The Cloud

A customer's financial data needs to be treated like the high-security information it is; that’s why many cyber security firms recommend retail companies store their client data within the cloud to provide ultimate protection. There are many cloud platform hosting providers that can deliver top-level security features to protect customers' data and your retail company's reputation. The best part is that these providers are almost always completely up to date with the latest security updates and online threat tactics.

Train Your Employees Well

Another way hackers gain access to retail databases is due to the improper training of retail staff when it comes to handling sensitive data. Make retail staff aware of the opportunities that can arise when they expose this data to the wrong people and ensure they use strong passwords to protect their identities while at work.

As retailers attempt to keep pace with the ever-evolving retail landscape, there are steps they can take to ensure they protect both their clients and themselves. From staying up to date with PCI guidelines to converting clients' financial data to the cloud, consider implementing these tips to keep your business moving forward successfully.

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