The UK’s retailing sector has experienced 44 cyberattacks in the last 12 months – roughly one every 8 days – according to new research by Keeper Security.
As part of its 2021 Cybersecurity Census Report, it found that three-quarters (77%) of retailers believe that the number of cyberattacks they are faced with will only increase in the next 12 months.
When successful, the research found that cyberattacks against retailers have resulted in “severe disruptions” to partner and customer operations (34%), the supply chain (33%) and a retailer’s ability to trade (29%) highlighting it isn’t just “macro issues” retailers are having to deal with.
However, Keeper said the retail sector is “acutely aware” of the cybersecurity threats it is facing, with 41% of respondents saying IT has been the top investment priority over the last year.
In addition, it found that senior IT leaders in the retail sector would like to see cybersecurity become a board-level issue, with four in five (78%) calling for a member of the board to be dedicated specifically to the cyber-welfare of the business.
Darren Guccione, CEO and co-founder of Keeper Security, said: “The retail sector has had a really tough time over the last 18 months particularly on the frontline of the business but what we have found is retailers are also struggling internally as well, especially with cybersecurity risk.
“Cybercriminals are targeting retailers as they see them as an easy target and the rewards for a successful breach are vast given the pools of data a retailer is likely to have on its system.”
He added: “Over half of employees working in retail don’t understand the cybersecurity implications of poor password hygiene highlighting just how critical not only improving current cybersecurity training but also making sure the right IT staff are in place from the very beginning.”