The threat of cybercrime against retailers is ever present. According to the 2016 Global Threat Intelligence Report, retailers are the top targets and receive up to three times the number of attacks as second placed financial institutions. Around 70% of retailers in Europe admit to being targeted while 45% of the attacks are known to have been successful. In the past 12 months, the US retail sector has also seen repeated attacks on electronic point-of-sale (POS) systems as well as consistently high volumes of phishing emails aimed at tricking insiders into giving access to corporate networks. With online takings expected to account for 21% of overall sales in 2017, cybercriminals will continue to try and profit from any vulnerabilities they can find in retail systems. To counter this, retailers have a variety of mitigation techniques available to them including VPNs. The best security remains multi-layered since no single technology can nullify all threats at all times.
Another first for 2016: at the weekend, another unprecedented event occurred which left significant numbers of Deutsche Telekom customers with difficulties accessing the internet or no internet access at all. As is now widely known, the outage was caused by a malicious attack – which was not entirely successful − rather than a technical fault. The attackers attempted to exploit the TR-069 protocol used on customer routers and add them to a bot net. 900,000 users are reported to have been affected.