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Most online retailers anticipate suffering cyber attacks this year

21 February 2017 - 09:42 by Graham Miller

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Almost three quarters of retailers are anticipating that they will have to put up with some form of hack or breach in 2017, with cybercrime a growing concern for all organisations in this sector.

This is according to the results of a new survey conducted by Mimecast, in which the negative impacts of digital attacks are outlined.

Close to two thirds of respondents said that they were worried about phishing emails, with criminal gangs still using misleading messages to trick users into giving away private data or opening up systems to further exploitation.

Ransomware has become a growing issue in the past year, with cybercriminals using software to encrypt data and charging victims a fee to have access restored. This is not just a problem for retailers, but also for people who want to carry out safe shopping online and regularly receive promotional emails from mainstream brands.

Retailers are being urged to invest in more resilient security measures by IT experts, as well as to make sure that staff are trained to avoid falling victim to phishing campaigns.

Consumers must also take responsibility for the need to adopt and embrace the techniques required to ensure that safe shopping online can be carried out at all times.

Phishing emails are becoming increasingly sophisticated, using legitimate-looking copy and logos to dupe people. So avoiding any unsolicited messages, especially those with sensational subject lines designed to increase the likelihood that they are opened and read, is advised.

The report’s authors analysed 26 million emails as part of the project, with 3.5 million of this total falling under the definition of spam. This shows that retailers and shoppers alike need to be vigilant in 2017 or else increase the likelihood that cybercrime will impact them negatively.