One Source, a leading provider of managed information technology services, today unveiled important tips for North Carolina retailers to prevent cyberattacks as the 2021 holiday shopping season enters its peak. With ransomware and cybercrimes on the rise and consumers looking to buy both in store and online, retailers must stay vigilant to protect against potential incidents that can cause catastrophic financial losses and severe damage to brand reputation.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of retail as businesses sought to adapt to changing consumer habits. This continuing evolution, combined with a dynamic shopping marketplace this holiday season, creates fertile ground for threat actors to launch attacks on unsuspecting businesses. With the average cost of a ransomware event costing approximately $1.85 million, many NC retailers may not be prepared to withstand a direct attack.
With this in mind, One Source’s top tips for retailers to prevent cyberattacks this holiday season are:
- Know where you may be vulnerable: Many businesses believe that simply installing antivirus software on company-owned computers is enough to secure their network, but the increasing sophistication of today’s cybercriminals requires multiple layers of protection. Retailers must look at all aspects of their technology infrastructure, from POS systems to employees’ mobile devices, to determine where vulnerabilities may exist and ensure they’re safeguarded at every level of the business.
- Use 24×7 monitoring: Amid the bustle of holiday selling it can be easy to lose sight of key information technology systems and assume infrastructure is protected. A robust cybersecurity strategy, however, requires constant monitoring to understand when attacks may be occurring. Enterprise-level network, email or host-based security products look at advanced threats and user behavior, enabling retail IT teams to see malicious activities that are happening as soon as possible.
- Don’t go it alone: Effective cybersecurity protection requires understanding where threats may be coming from and preventing breaches before they cause lasting damage. That’s why it is essential for retailers to partner with a managed security services provider with experts who have the resources, skill set and knowledge to interpret information from cybersecurity monitoring tools and react to keep cyber criminals at bay.
“The 2021 holiday season is upon us, and many threat actors view holiday shopping as open season on retailers’ IT systems,” said Steve Cobb, Chief Information Security Officer, One Source. “We expect this year to be busier than ever when it comes to retail cyberattacks, and many retailers still are not prepared to effectively prevent, remediate or recover from an attack. By remaining vigilant and taking a strategic approach to cybersecurity, NC retailers can have the peace of mind that critical systems are protected while they reap the benefits of this busy season.”
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