Retail in Asia

In Trends

Cyberattacks project to rise in November

Cyberattacks on online retailers and shoppers are projected to rise in November in conjunction with Singles’ Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Retailers and consumers alike need to take the necessary steps to protect themselves.

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Singles’ Day online sales in China usually surpass the United States Cyber Monday sales, Black Friday or any other 24-hour shopping campaign by a wide margin making it the biggest shopping holiday in the world.

Scams typically rise in tandem with the number of online shoppers, and cybersecurity company Imperva’s 12-month analysis on cybersecurity risks in the retail industry suggests that the 2021 holiday shopping season will be no different.

Retailers globally are experiencing higher levels of security incidents. In Singapore, for instance, the number of security incidents in the industry have increased 31 percent in the April-Sept 2021, compared to the previous six-month period.

Threats are expected to come from malicious bots (bots are computer programs that carry out an array of disruptive, and even malicious, activities on retail sites including price and content scraping, scalping, denial of inventory and other types of online fraud), Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and website attacks.

The top type of security incident in the Singapore retail industry in the past 12 months (Oct 2020 − Sep 2021) has been bad bot traffic (44 percent). In the December shopping period last year in particular, Singapore’s retail industry saw a marked rise in simple bot traffic of 60 percent above the monthly average.

In January 2021, the Singapore retail industry saw a 59 percent increase above the monthly average for data leakage attacks, coinciding with the Chinese New Year shopping period.

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Just as consumers should be mindful of the risks of online shopping, retailers must adopt measures to protect their customers and operations. We have put together some tips to help retailers prepare for a holiday shopping season that’s predicted to be record breaking — both in terms of web traffic and cyber threats. Here is what retailers should do:

  • Ensure your organisation is compliant with all data privacy regulations in your jurisdiction.
  • Prepare for a high volume of traffic, as well as DDoS attacks.
  • Be sure to have a bot management strategy in place to only allow legitimate customers onto your website.
  • Encourage your customers to practice good password practices and offer multi-factor authentication.
  • Protect your existing website functionalities and make sure newly added ones are safe, too.
  • Take inventory of all your JavaScript-based services.

(Source: Imperva)