London, UK: 12th September, 2017 – Retailers are responding to cyber attacks on average twice a week — this is according to the latest research from Zynstra, an enterprise-grade IT software provider. 16% of retailers said they experienced an attack or attempted attack every day, 11% said they responded 2-3 times per week, and 64% said once a month.
The incidence of cyber attacks was found to be especially high in the grocery industry with 29% of respondents dealing with attempted security breaches every day, and 55% every week. In other retail verticals, 65% of respondents in the sports and outdoor sector said they responded once a week, as did 49% of fashion retailers and 40% of department stores.
The research, conducted by independent survey consultants Censuswide on behalf of Zynstra, surveyed 300 IT professionals and C-level executives in the retailer sector in the UK and US.
“Taking care of a distributed branch network, from a maintenance and security point of view, can be extremely challenging,” says Nick East, CEO, Zynstra. “Looking at the high number of cyber attacks and attempted attacks shines light on the ongoing battles that retail IT is facing in terms of workload, particularly when it comes to security basics like patching and performing updates.”
This is reflected in the research, with 55% of retailers applying security upgrades and patches across their branch network at least once a week; with 12% doing it daily, and 77% once a month. In addition, when asked about the frequency of backing up critical in-store data across their branch network, 75% do so once a week, with almost half of respondents (46%) doing it daily.
The pattern is similar across a range of retail industries; sports and outdoor (79%), department stores (70%), electrical stores (69%), DIY (65%), grocers (61%) and Fashion stores (60%).
Despite the frequency of patching, applying updates and backups, only 33% of retailers are very confident that their branch network is secure, with the major concerns being that back-up data will not be restored quickly enough in the event of a cyber event (37%), and that patches and upgrades are not applied in a timely manner (22%).
“There is little doubt that IT teams are responding as best they can to mitigate the cyber threat, but despite their action, confidence in retail IT branch security remains a challenge. This lack of confidence points to the fact that a new approach is needed, one that takes the load off IT teams and increases assurance through the intelligent automation of processes required to keep branches secure,” concludes East.
The full research report can be downloaded here.