The retail industry is facing numerous challenges stemming from the pandemic and its aftermath. From managing staffing and supply chain shortages to enforcing health safety precautions, retailers may be unintentionally ignoring another rising threat: cyber crime.
Cyber threats are rising, with one report suggesting it could cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. On the positive side, forecasts by Bain, Deloitte and Mastercard suggest holiday sales will grow at least 7 percent this holiday season compared to last. While the sharp jump may be a sign the sector is rebounding, the growth makes the retail industry an even more attractive target for cyber attackers.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) suggests retailers follow simple measures to prevent cyber attacks, including employee training about phishing emails — the most common form of cyber crime in 2020. Staff education combined with strong email security can help limit disruptions to in-store operations, online sales fulfillment, and being locked out of inventory management or financial systems.
Retailers large and small are at an increased risk for the consequences that come from a cybersecurity threat. However, there are three critical steps to take so that your business doesn’t fall victim to phishing attacks:
- The first and best line of defense is to educate yourself and staff on how to recognize and handle suspicious emails. Most IT solutions vendors provide regular training programs that address the ever-evolving phishing techniques. If you don’t have a vendor, or it doesn't provide training, consider looking into one. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
- While education is key, technology plays a large role in helping stop malicious emails in their tracks. Specialized email security vendors can help to educate you on what to look for as well as to help find a technology solution that best fits the needs of your business. Many next-generation security solution providers use machine learning and artificial intelligence to stop even the most sophisticated phishing attempts.
- At a minimum, you should add multi-factor authentication (MFA) to your email system. It's one of the most cost-effective ways for companies to reduce unauthorized access. MFA adds an extra step when logging into your email, asking the user to confirm their identity by entering a code sent to their cell or via an app. This has become standard practice due to its effectiveness. Double-check to make sure you have MFA in place to make it more difficult for hackers to access your information.
To avoid being the next cyberattack victim, making national headlines and facing large financial risks, consider working with an email security vendor that specializes in phishing attacks. The growing risk of cyberattacks isn’t going away, but by taking these steps and more you can limit the probability of falling victim.
Eyal Benishti is the CEO and founder of IRONSCALES, a self-learning email security platform.
As Chief Executive Officer at IRONSCALES, Eyal Benishti pioneered the development of the world’s first self-learning anti-phishing email security solution that combines human intelligence and machine learning technologies for automatic prevention, detection and autonomous incident response to cyber-attacks in real time. Under Eyal’s leadership, IRONSCALES has filed four patents for anti-phishing and email security solutions and secured three funding rounds from K1 and Israel’s RDSeed totaling more than $20 million. IRONSCALES has received numerous awards, including Frost & Sullivan’s AI-Powered Email Security Innovation Award and Best Enterprise Email Security Solution by the Cybersecurity Breakthrough Awards.