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How can retailers prevent cybersecurity incidents?

The end of the year is an exceptionally busy time for the retail sector. November and December are key months for retailers thanks to dates like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas... 

The current pace of digitization and growth in the retail industry and the upcoming shopping season means cybersecurity concerns are rising. According to data from Online Dasher, 24% of cyberattacks reported in 2022 came from retailers, which makes them one of the prime targets for malicious actors.  

But why is retail such an attractive proposition for cybercriminals? The answer to this question lies in the huge amount of data these businesses process and store in their systems and, more specifically, the financial data they handle, making them a major source of sensitive third-party information.  

To prevent potential security breaches and protect against threats, all retailers, in physical and digital channels, need to implement a cybersecurity system that protects their data and that of their customers. This will enable retail businesses to offer a more reliable service and gain consumer trust. 

5 Cybersecurity tips for retailers 

Here are some basic guidelines that all retailers should follow when implementing a cybersecurity system:  

1- Update software: 

An outdated system is one of the critical vulnerabilities that can expose your business to threats. Keeping software updated with the latest security fixes makes protection efforts more effective.  

2- Point-of-sale security:

 Despite digitization, physical stores remain one of the focal points of retail activity. Many vulnerable devices at a point of sale can be susceptible to malicious software designed to steal consumers' financial information. It is crucial to certify the security of all in-store terminals, especially those dedicated to payment. 

3- Responsiveness: 

When there is an incident, it is important to detect the problem early and address it as quickly as possible. This mitigates any damage caused and prevents the threat from escalating. 

4- Rely on an external professional: 

Many retail firms do not have the infrastructure required for an in-house IT team to handle cybersecurity. An MSP specializing in the retail sector can be a great ally in promoting cybersecurity protocols and finding the best solution for your business. 

5- Comprehensive cybersecurity system:

This is the basis of any good cybersecurity system. An effective firewall integrating all levels of your business that could come under threat will shield all sensitive data from the outset, especially for SMBs. This is the ideal solution to protect the systems at different points of sale, reinforcing security protocols and data protection in a unified manner.  

If you would like to learn more about applications of cybersecurity systems in the retail industry, you can click here and read our case study on implementing WatchGuard's M670 firewall at a specialist automotive dealer. This easy-to-install and user-friendly solution offers a comprehensive network and security management software package with a management interface for day-to-day monitoring. 

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