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Black Friday, Cybersecurity, COVID: Ecommerce is Under Attack
December 15, 2020
COVID-19 has exerted an enormous impact on the retail industry. With many stores closed, and large parts of the world’s population under some degree of lockdown, a desire for safety and convenience has increasingly driven shoppers online. US consumers spent almost $500 billion online by August, with sales exceeding $2 billion on 130 different days. Sales only reached that level on two days in 2019.
While this is undeniably good news for retailers, enthusiasm has been tempered by a corresponding increase in the volume of cyber attacks on e-commerce sites. The graph below shows the Cyber Threat Index (CTI)* for the retail sector rising sharply around the beginning of global lockdown measures at the end of March and the corresponding growth in online shopping. In fact, you can see how it quickly surpasses the peak of 2019’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.
Retailers should, therefore, be ultra-vigilant. The holiday shopping season is well under way, and the level of cyber threat facing e-commerce sites is already higher than last year’s seasonal peak. Who knows just how high it’ll reach throughout the rest of the holiday period?
“The State of Security Within e-Commerce,” a new report highlighting the cybersecurity attack risks faced by the retail industry amid this unprecedented volume of web traffic, employs data from a wide variety of sources. It catalogues the types of attacks observed up to September 30 and examines where they came from and how they were delivered.
Among its findings, the report details several cyber attack trends of concern, including:
The holiday shopping season is traditionally a crucial revenue period for retailers. The National Retail Federation forecasts that holiday sales in 2020 will increase by up to 5.2 percent over last year. On the flip side, though, retailers have been tasked with tackling a historically high level of both human and attack traffic to their sites.
The myriad complex cybersecurity threats are compounded by the impact of the pandemic. Managing a stack of point solutions to address each of these unique risks can be challenging for lean security teams. By investing in an integrated application security platform (which provides protection against the leading attacks and optimizes web performance) retailers will be better able to operate efficiently and securely throughout the holidays and beyond.
For more details on the types of threats faced by online retailers in 2020, and what they can do to prepare for them, you can download The State of Security within E-commerce report here.
* Calculated using data gathered from sensors across the world, the Cyber Threat Index is a continuous measurement and analysis of the global threat landscape.
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