Ransomware attacks are a fast-growing problem for retailers

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The pandemic has affected retailers in a variety of ways. Some of the effects are obvious:  Amazon was in a position to adapt and scale to the pandemic-driven surge in consumer demand. Thousands of other retailers either closed in 2020 or are expected to close in 2021. Not all of this can be blamed on the pandemic, and these figures do not represent a full picture of the retail sector. Retail industry analysts are also expecting thousands of new stores to open as the popularity of discount and dollar stores continues to grow.

There are other changes as well, such as the increased complexity of the IT environment. Retailers are taking advantage of new integrated systems, industrial control devices, and technologies that enable ‘just-in-time delivery systems. These technologies are driving cloud migrations, and consumers are driving demand for online commerce and non-cash transactions. The retailers that aren’t investing in this digital transformation often rely on legacy technologies after official support has ended.

10 months of ransomware attacks on retailers

Meanwhile cybercriminals are building sophisticated organizations that hunt for large ransoms and lucrative data. The rise of Malware-as-a-Service has made ransomware accessible to anyone willing to share a ransom. All industries are targets, but retailers have become very enticing over the past couple of years. New research reveals ransomware attacks on the retail sector are growing rapidly, with a 183% increase between the first two quarters of 2021. Here are some of the more notable attacks over the past 10 months:

The effects of a ransomware attack rarely have a clear end. The business may be unable to conduct business for an undetermined amount of time, which means the company is losing an unknown dollar amount in sales. Consumer confidence in the brand may be reduced, leading to further loss of sales. The company may be sued or file for bankruptcy months or years later, depending on how the incident impacted the business and its customers. We won’t even get into the impact of stolen data and ransom payments.

The best course of action for any organization is to plan to never pay a ransom. Creating a multi-layer ransomware defense is as easy as 1-2-3.  See how Barracuda can help you protect your business.

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