Retail Cyberattacks Rise 20%

Cyber criminals are getting more sophisticated.

December 19, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Attempted cyberattacks targeted at retailers jumped 20% during the holiday season last year, reports Retail Dive.

According to a survey conducted by VMWare Carbon Black, a California-based technology company, two-thirds of retailers say they were targeted by a ransomware attack in the past year. As a result, more than half of the companies surveyed plan to increase their cybersecurity teams in 2020, and 40% plan to up their security budget by at least 10%.

Of the retail organizations surveyed, 73% said cyberattacks have gotten more sophisticated over the past year, and 40% said they lost revenue in 2019 due to cyberattacks. The cybersecurity report reiterates what many retailers already know: Online security can be a major weak spot, and continued breaches of major brands indicate how difficult it is to keep up with these ever-evolving crimes.

In November, Macy's announced that it experienced a "highly sophisticated and targeted" security breach that potentially leaked customer payment information. In January, Warby Parker reported that almost 200,000 customer accounts were targeted by unauthorized parties using stolen usernames and passwords to access account information.

Some retailer breaches have had a long-term impact beyond the inconvenience of notifying customers, providing credit monitoring and strengthening internal systems. Earlier this year, Neiman Marcus paid $1.5 million to settle a 2013 data breach lawsuit that exposed the credit card data of 370,000 customers.

The report recommends that retailers be proactive instead of reactive by seeking out and eliminating potential threats before they can occur and developing strategies to protect customer data and financial information.