Retail sector at high risk of being targeted by cybercriminals

New research has shown that cybercriminals are redirecting their focus from the financial sector to retail.

Retail sector a more attractive target

Research published in April 2016, in the NTT 2016 Global Threat Intelligence Report, has revealed that of 3.5 trillion security logs and 6.2 billion attacks studied during 2015, just under 11% were targeted to the retail sector, topping the list.

This is the first time that retail has knocked the finance sector out of first place.

According to Rory Duncan, Head of Security Business Unit at Dimension Data UK, “retail companies are becoming increasingly popular targets as most process large volumes of personal information, including credit card data, in highly distributed environments with many endpoints and point-of-service devices. Such diverse environments can be difficult to protect.”

The criminals behind these cyber attacks

65% of the attacks that have taken place over the past year originated from IP addresses within the US. However, the hackers behind these attacks could be located anywhere in the world. Geographically strategic infrastructures are being adopted by cybercriminals in order to perpetrate malicious activities, as they are low-cost and highly available.

Matthew Gyde, Dimension Data’s Group Executive – Security, explains that cybercriminals are targeting the retail sector in as they garner a lot of personal information that they are able to monetise on the black market, evidently exhibiting that “cybercriminals are motivated by the rewards of financial crimes.”

The report produced its findings from information gathered during 2015 from 8000 clients of NTT Group security. Companies included Dimension Data, Solutionary, NTT Com Security, NTT R&D and NTT Innovation Institute.


Adapted from a press release by Jordan Platt.