How to Understand Cyber Crime in the Retail Market

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The retail market is increasingly utilising e-commerce and becoming more omnichannel, with the online market growing on average 10 to 15 percent each year. Due to this rise retailers have encountered new threats and challenges including cyber crime.

Retailers have estimated that over half (53%) of retail fraud now originates online, according to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) 2016 annual retail crime survey. The cost of “cyber-enabled” fraud, including phishing and pharming, is now around £100 Million.

There are 2 sets of victims in cyber crime – the customer and the retailer. The customer can have data hacked or lose money while the retailer loses reputation and potential customers. According to the Institute of Customer Service Data, 30% of consumers said they would change suppliers if the company they are using became a victim of a cyber-attack.

There are many types of cyber-attacks

  • Malware – is an all-encompassing term for a program or malicious software including Trojans, viruses and worms. It will typically steal data or destroy something on the device used.
  • Phishing – is a method of accessing valuable personal information including username and passwords. Normally sent through bogus communications by email or text message.
  • Pharming – is deceiving the user into entering their details onto a fake website, even though the correct URL has been entered.
  • Denial of Service (DoS) Attack – focuses on taking a website out of action by sending high volumes of data or traffic by overloading or ‘flooding’ the server.
  • Standard Query Language Injection (SQLI) – is a common way of penetrating websites and then the attackers steal large volumes of customer information from underpinning databases.

As with the majority of crimes, vigilance is one of the keys to prevention. Cyber criminals will continue to become more sophisticated and as more retailers do their business online, the number of threats to both consumers and retailers will continue to grow. Retailers need to take the time to secure their systems and make cyber security a priority.