Cybersecurity and Compliance for the Retail Industry2019-09-06T08:43:59-07:00

Cybersecurity and Compliance for the Retail Industry

The statistics are telling — cybersecurity for retail companies needs to be a priority. Today, one in three retailers lose revenue over cyber attacks, with 16 percent of companies tallying more than $1 million in losses. And while retailers recognize that they’re a frequent target, only 52 percent feel their security infrastructure is up-to-date with the latest threats. Even more worrying is that only 61 percent feel they’re fully compliant with retail security standards. As a result, more companies are turning their attention toward cybersecurity and compliance in the retail industry.

Top Cybersecurity Threats to Retail

Because the retail sector is an attractive target, it faces several cybersecurity threats, including:

  • POS: Point-of-Sale (POS) breaches are one of the top threats to retail cybersecurity. Many companies fail to maintain their POS systems, which means they use outdated operating systems. Plus, POS systems are without point-to-point encryption (P2PE), which is why businesses are implementing endpoint protection.
  • DDoS: In coordination with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the increase in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. As a result, it’s become essential for companies to assess the security of their cloud, as well as implement an infrastructure policy for it.
  • Ransomware: While an older threat, ransomware is experiencing a resurgence. In a year, its numbers jumped from 3.8 million to 638 million, indicating that it’s once again becoming a top threat to retail cybersecurity. Now, companies are focusing on automated backups of their data to combat these attacks.

Top Compliance Concerns in Retail

As well as monitoring the latest threats to the retail sector, companies must also ensure compliance with the following standards:

  • PCI-DSS: The retail industry has an unfortunate reputation of adopting a “checkbox compliance” approach to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). This standard is critical, however, as it mandates how to store and transmit credit card data after accepting and processing it. Plus, non-compliance risks fines of $5,000 to $100,000 per month.
  • SOX: Compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is vital for publicly traded retail companies. The goal of SOX is simple — deliver transparent financial reporting and maintain a formal system of internal checks and balances for accurate reports. Not complying with SOX risks severe penalties, including fines of up to $5 million and prison time.
  • HIPAA: For retail pharmacies, compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is essential. Because HIPAA focuses on protecting every patient’s information, non-compliance reaps legal and financial penalties as well as damage to your company’s reputation. Due to processing payment information, plus recording pharmacy records, retail pharmacies are a high-reward target for hackers.

How to Protect Your Retail Stores from Cyber Threats and Attacks

If you’re looking to protect your retail locations from these types of risks, as well as maintain compliance, there are tons of steps you can take, including the following:

  • Educate: Training your team members is critical if you want to avoid security threats like ransomware.
  • Invest: Increasing your IT funding can lead to leaps and bounds in cybersecurity for your retail company.
  • Consolidate: Streamlining your cybersecurity solutions can help your company minimize vulnerabilities.
  • Share:Passing your findings onto industry organizations, like the National Retail Federation (NFR), enhances cyber threat detection for the entire retail industry.
  • Partner: Teaming up with a provider of retail cybersecurity software can ensure compliance as well as boosted cybersecurity.

At BlackStratus, our cybersecurity and compliance solutions for the retail industry deliver the protection and performance your organization demands. Learn more about our enterprise-class and cloud-based security solutions through a free demo of CYBERShark™, software that thousands of companies trust for protecting their customer’s data as well as their reputation.

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