Staples Hit With Cyber Attack During Critical Holiday Season
Staples announced Monday it had been hit by a cyber attack during the week following Thanksgiving that temporarily disrupted customer support channels and delivery systems.
“Staples recently identified a cybersecurity risk [and] took proactive steps in an effort to mitigate the impact and protect customer data," the company said on its website.
PC Magazine reported that Staples locked down its IT systems — including those devoted to processing orders and customer service — in order to mitigate the cyberattack. As of Wednesday, Staples' website said its communications and customer services lines were continuing to experience disruption. Staples has 983 stores in the U.S. Those stores remain open and are operating as normal.
Total Retail's Take: The disruption comes at a critical time for Staples — Cyber Week following the Thanksgiving holiday, when retailers typically ramp up their promotions and sales in the final push to the end of the year. The firm Information Technology Intelligence Consulting found that in 2022, one hour of of a server being down could cost large retailers as much as $5 billion, according to Tracy Collins, vice president of sales at Opengear, which offers network monitoring, data center and IT infrastructure management solutions.
"Not only does network downtime affect customer attitudes toward a brand, but it can also result in employee turnover," Collins said. "Retail employees are already under considerable stress during the craziness of the holiday season. In fact, retail employee turnover during the holidays routinely lands at 60 percent — adding network outages into the mix is a recipe for disaster. Put simply, the holiday season is too important of a time to fail. Retailers must implement strategies that boost network resiliency."