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New Research on Top Digital Threats Facing Retail Industry

With the surge of online shopping and e-commerce, digitalization has transformed the way retailers grow business and engage with consumers. Today, retail organizations rely on websites, marketplaces and social media to promote products, sell goods and provide customer service. Retailer websites offer a source for direct selling to consumers and also a place to build brand and product recognition. eMarketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba and MercadoLibre, offer opportunities to reach a broad range of customers and resell goods globally. 

Retail brand and marketing teams rely on social media and digital advertising to enter new markets, generate awareness, and connect with potential customers, often offering coupons and savings through digital platforms. Their customer support teams engage with customers to provide real-time support through social channels. Cybercriminals have recognized the opportunities that online platforms represent for retailers, and seek to exploit their market share and revenue potential. 

With digital engagement comes digital risk

The engagement between consumers and retailers involves the exchange of money and information, usually including credit card numbers, home addresses and other PII, or personally identifiable information. With the growth in online retail markets, cybercriminals are looking to capitalize on the customer loyalty retailers have built and maximize their potential returns. Through malicious domains, counterfeit goods, coupon/gift card scams and impersonations on social media, bad actors engage directly with unwary consumers in a way that they previously could not. Retailers need to be aware of these threats in order to protect their hard-earned revenue and brand reputation as well as safeguard customers that are often the ultimate victims of these attacks.

Retail Industry Digital Threat Report

Over a 12 month period, the ZeroFOX Alpha Team has analyzed the top threats and digital attack tactics facing our retail customer ecosystem. This analysis has been compiled into our Retail Industry Digital Threat Report, providing a comprehensive review of the persistent digital threat landscape facing the retail sector, with a focus on the top tactics cybercriminals used to plan and execute attacks on retailers and consumers. The report includes insights into common tactics used against the retail sector and recommendations for how retail organizations can protect themselves from these threats.

Key Findings

Within the report, you’ll find the top attack tactics most commonly used to target retailers in the digital threat landscape, including:

  • Domain-based attacks: Malicious, spoofed and impersonating domains represented the largest attack tactic targeting the retail industry. 
  • Customer Scams: Scams offering “something for nothing” frequently target retail consumers, including gift card, coupon and giveaway scams.
  • Counterfeit Goods: Fake versions of legitimate products, posted to marketplaces and malicious domains, represent risks to brand reputation and customer trust. 
  • Impersonations: Bad actors pretend to be retailers and their high-profile executives on social media to gain direct access to employees and consumers.
  • Information Exposure: Data breaches can be detrimental to a retailer’s brand, targeting executives and consumers.

See all the findings

Check out the full breakdown of each attack tactic, with key findings and recommendations for retailers looking to better protect their organization, reputation and customers against digital attacks. Check out the full Retail Industry Digital Threat Report here