Endpoint Management to Limit Threats in Retail Sector

Retailers around the world should be wary of a data breach, according to a study by Thales and 451 Research, which found that nearly half of all retailers worldwide experienced at least one data breach last year. Also, 60% of retailers said that they experienced a data breach at some point in the past, even if it wasn’t a year ago. Because of the prevalence of data breaches, 88% of retailers around the world believe that they are at risk of experiencing a breach in the future. However, in terms of the U.S., only 19% of retailers said that they experienced a data breach last year, which is a decrease from last year’s 22% figure. In addition, only 19% of U.S. retailers said they felt extremely vulnerable to security threats.

Thales surveyed over a thousand senior security executives in the retail, finance, healthcare and public sectors. In the retail sector, 73% of them plan to increase their investment in IT security. However, budget constraints affect 53% of retailers and act as a barrier. According to the survey, retailers are less likely to store sensitive data in advanced technologies compared to companies in other vertical markets.

Two-thirds of retailers are concerned about third-party cloud and SaaS environments, believing that they will be victims of cyber attacks. The majority of retailers are concerned about vulnerabilities in shared cloud infrastructure. As the concern of data breaches continue to be a concern, retailers should consider the below four tips in an effort to prevent a cyber breach:

  1. Conduct vulnerability audits: Regular vulnerability audits will reveal security gaps in a company’s network and infrastructure. When retailers are able to identify gaps in a timely manner, they can minimize the amount of time a hacker has to exploit a vulnerability. Retailers should also prioritize remediating vulnerabilities immediately after they are discovered. Through immediate remediation, companies can minimize the damage that hackers can cause.
  2. Follow best practice standards: Best practice standards can help retailers remain compliant. At 41%, compliance is currently one of the top spending drivers for U.S. retailers, according to the study. At 47%, best practices are the top spending driver in the U.S. The PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) has impacted companies in the retail sector that are looking to limit the damages of a payment card data breach. By following best practice standards, retailers can remain more secure.
  3. Encrypt data: Data encryption gives retailers another layer of security to bypass should a hacker be able to steal information. Retailers should prioritize encrypting customer data, especially payment card data, companies can minimize the impact of a data breach on the consumer. Luckily, two-thirds of retailers are already working on encrypting data. This will then limit the financial impact of a data breach on the retailer and lower the chances of litigation.
  4. Invest in endpoint security: Endpoint Security Software can help retailers keep their networks secure by identifying malware and other cyber threats before they have a chance to deploy. Endpoint Management software can also help IT teams at retailers monitor their networks continuously for cyber threats.

The retail sector has been targeted by hackers for years because of all of the customer data it holds. Cyber threats like malware, phishing scams, and ransomware can help hackers steal data from retailers.  By investing in Endpoint Management technology, retailers can limit the impact of a data breach.