As we are about to enter the Cybersecurity Awareness month, it is the best time to examine specific types of security threats which the hospitality providers and retailers face every day. Within these industries, the “attack surfaces” are becoming a lot more complex and dramatic, and the hackers have become more intelligent and sophisticated with each passing year. The important watchword you should be focused on is “protect now or pay later.” This is due to the fact that issues that are prevalent today are only set to become worse as the hackers carry on adapting to the latest security strategies.
A few threats have come about from changes in hacker environments. For example, the emergence of more recent types of ransomware attacks. The others are associated in part to the transition into the “digital age.” As more and more information lands up online, it becomes more vulnerable to specific threat types. The challenges involve aligning company cultures, systems, and networks to support the secure practices within this latest arena, while at the same time providing a way for your company to achieve as well as provide to customers various advantages and efficiencies of automation and digitization.
The most current identified top 5 digital threats include the following:
1. Ransomware Rising
Similar to malware, the ransomware has spread and grown to the mobile devices. Ransomware is described as a type of attack whereby the hackers find a way to lock-up the parts of an organization’s system and then charge a fee (ransom) in order to release this lock-up. Unlike the majority of malware, the ransomware makes it a lot more complex to catch the hackers as they have not stolen sensitive data or credit-card numbers which has been transacted on in order to reap rewards.
The larger retailers have become the main targets when it comes to ransomware. This is when the hackers find a way to encrypt and capture sufficient amounts of sensitive data, the company is forced into paying a significant fee in order to get this data back. The reports have revealed that in many cases after the ransom has been paid, the data cannot be retrieved and the business has gone onto lose this information.
2. Mobile Madness
Today the Smartphone has replaced the PC and the mobile malware has spread quickly through the wireless networks. The higher demands in consumer-usage in regards to stores as well as employee usage within distribution centers and offices has created more vulnerabilities that have become sprawling in their complexity and scope. The Smartphone penetration makes it a harder task to manage and secure Wi-Fi networks for employees and guests.
3. Infusion Of IoT
The “next-generation” customer experiences have leveraged the “Internet of Things” in creating satisfaction and convenience amongst shoppers. Simply put, retailers are in pursuit of digital transformation which relies on networks that include a variety of devices that includes your systems, shoppers’ smartphones, sensors and in-store cameras. However, devices which connect the consumers to these networks have also increased amounts of customer-touchpoints, personal data, and integration intersections that need to be secured. The devices that leverage digitization are also able to create vulnerabilities that invade your beacons, websites or mobile apps.
4. Gnarly Networks
If the main security measures have not been met in network and system infrastructures, the focus on protection that is more sophisticated for the advanced threats can be regarded as wasting good money on bad. The securing of a network from the end-to-end is more crucial than ever in the current digital landscape. The retailers that carry on relying on end-of-life or outdated hardware, software and operating systems have introduced the security vulnerabilities types that the hackers love. The one’s that have invested in rigorous “lifecycle management” practices and PCI compliance along with the best in its class security solutions happen to be the type of people that are able to relax when they leave the office for the day.
5. Daunting Data
The securing and storing of sensitive data is what drives up the costs for the retailers in regards to consumer-driven transactions and data analytics and this issue continues to be on the rise. The amount of the consumer “touchpoints” from the omnichannel outreach onto mobile apps onto POS or beacon at store levels will increase security vulnerabilities and the demands in protecting your data privacy. In addition, you are able to make use of customer data in achieving a new insight in association to analytics which assist you in creating better customer experiences.
The advantages of digitization will include costs savings, newer revenue streams, an improvement in customer services along with experiences, improved staff management and a lot more. However, security measures have to be a portion of this transformation conversation that helps to protect the traditional and new data sources which expand on your digital infrastructure. In the following few months, we will address each important aspect in a lot more detail, and discuss what is needed in considering the placing together road maps in securing your company.