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Emerging Challenges in Retail Cloud Security


There’s a reason why the newest cybersecurity stories leave your IT or SecOps teams in a state of shock and awe. The retail industry is one of the most frequently targeted globally, with retail sales in the United States alone expected to exceed $5.2 trillion in 2022. In this post, we will look at the key issues that IT teams confront.

The pandemic’s increase in e-commerce investments and online buyers has made online retail a more appealing possibility for would-be cyber crooks. In recent years, malicious insiders, careless employees, and misconfigured or susceptible software across networks, endpoints, and POS (point-of-sale) devices have increased the corporate attack surface.

So, what is the most recent cybersecurity news in the retail industry? This article provides an in-depth look at emerging retail cloud security issues.

The Changing Face of Retail Security

Retailers are digitizing their operations in order to deliver an effective IT infrastructure and a pleasant shopping experience for their customers. However, the new cloud-based approach to cybersecurity introduces additional obstacles.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

Retail businesses have changed as a result of the pandemic, moving away from the POS (point-of-sale) terminal and toward the back office. However, the pandemic has also exposed retail operations to fresh cybersecurity threats, which might have a significant negative effect on specific businesses and the retail industry as a whole. In 2020, the proportion of online sales to all retail sales rose from 16 to 19 percent.

A Rise in Complex and Devastating Cyber Attacks

POS has historically been the main target for data-hungry cyber attackers. The widespread use of EMV cards, which are more difficult to counterfeit than stolen POS data, and innovative payment methods like Apple Pay encourage fraudulent behavior online. There is a lot of it. For instance:


Multifaceted Assaults

Attacks are coming from both internal and external sources more often. Retailers’ IT systems are exposed in numerous places, and employee churn is rampant. Points of insider vulnerability are produced by seasonal and temporary workers, a large number of stores, and distribution centers. Additionally, merchants contract with outside firms to handle business operations including marketing automation, customer databases, POS terminals, and online search optimization.

Cloud Security Architecture and Strategy Deficiencies

Too many businesses adopt cloud computing without the necessary architecture or plan in place. Customers must comprehend the risks they face, how to migrate securely to the cloud (remember that this is not a lift-and-shift procedure), and the details of the shared responsibility model before making the switch to the cloud.

The customer is responsible for this danger, which is new to the list. Customers will be susceptible to cyberattacks without adequate preparedness, which could result in monetary losses, reputational harm, and legal and compliance problems.

Inadequate Control Plane

The cloud control plane, which is new to the list this year, is the group of administrative consoles and interfaces that an organization uses to manage its use of the cloud. Additionally, it also covers data duplication, migration, and storage. A breached control plane that is not properly protected can result in data loss, regulatory fines, and other repercussions. As well as a company’s reputation that can ultimately result in significant revenue loss.

Decrease in Visibility of Cloud Utilization 

Enterprise administrators have long been concerned about cloud visibility. This is due to the fact that poor visibility results in two major problems:

  • When employees utilize programs that are not authorized by IT; this practice refers to shadow IT or unauthorized app use. 
  • Apps that have been approved by IT are misused in a sanctioned manner. It covers both users who are permitted to use the program and unauthorized users who access it using stolen credentials obtained, for instance, through SQL injection or DNS attacks.

This restricted visibility causes a lack of governance, security, and awareness. All of which can result in cyberattacks, data loss, and breaches for retail companies.

Using Cloud Services Dishonestly and Abusively

The cloud is usually a force for good, but threat actors can also use it maliciously. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS solutions used fraudulently have an impact on individuals, cloud consumers, and CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) alike. Customers are particularly vulnerable to the exploitation of cloud services via the following: 

  • Disguised as originating from a CSP; assaults that use distributed denial-of-service
  • Phishing
  • Cryptomining
  • Fake clicks
  • Blistering assaults
  • Hosted harmful or illegal content

A customer unintentionally hosting malware, data loss, loss of cryptocurrencies or other payments made by the attacker, and other costs can result from compromised and misused cloud services.


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