E-retailers are coming up to the biggest shopping period in the year as the annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events at the end of November slide into the December holiday season. In the UK, shoppers spent more than £3 billion over the weekend last year with many of those sales coming online. It’s clearly a fantastic revenue making opportunity for e-commerce providers. But it also represents a great window of opportunity that hackers could exploit to steal valuable customer personal and financial data. Cybercriminals love Black Friday as it allows them to go unnoticed in the increased volumes of transactions and internet traffic.
Case-in-point: the US retail giant Target suffered a mega breach that began on Black Friday and continued for three weeks over the busy shopping period.
Simply put, this coming Black Friday is litmus test for online retailers and their security preparedness in the face of this increased threat.
Black Friday last year was the busiest shopping period of the year. The week including and following the event, starting 22 November, saw estimated UK online sales of £4.3bn – up by 62% on the previous year. And this year is set to be even bigger. But it’s also a goldmine for hackers, who are waiting for IT teams to take their eyes off the ball so they can sneak into networks. The focus is rightly on maximising profits during this period – fulfilling orders, minimising drop-outs, maintaining uptime and ensuring the supply chain is running smoothly. But that means security can sometimes be forced to take a back seat.
It is no surprise that online retail remains a major target for cybercriminals. The customer card details, email addresses, user log-ins and other info typically stored by such businesses are a valuable commodity on the cybercrime underground, where they’re sold on to fraudsters. But as online businesses have moved to modern datacentre and cloud architectures, unfortunately, traditional security technologies focused on securing the perimeter are no longer enough to secure these modern, dynamic environments.
This leaves a massive blind spot around the east-west traffic inside the datacentre. That means that when the black hats get inside they’ll stand a good chance of going undiscovered for days, weeks or even months. The median of this dwell time currently stands at 146 days, according to Mandiant.
Other Key Challenges Include:
- PCI compliance, with potentially punitive fines for erring companies
- EU GDPR – will land in 2018 to bring penalties of up to 4% of global annual turnover for serious transgressions
- Reputation is everything in e-commerce. It’s easy for customers to switch companies if your brand is diminished by a breach
- A large and complex supply chain could introduce avenues for attack into data centres
Next-generation Security for the Datacentre
The 2014 breach of 145 million eBay customer accounts shows that even the biggest online platforms can be caught out. It’s vital therefore to have data centre security you can trust, offering maximum protection. This means that in busy periods like the upcoming holiday season, you can focus all your attention on driving profits and customer engagement.
What that means in practice is looking to next generation technologies which can spot and stop attacks inside the datacentre at an early stage, as they begin lateral movement, to minimise the damage caused.
GuardiCore customers include several online businesses, providing protection of their datacentre assets from the inside. In other words, by enabling them to quickly detect and respond to attacks after they have breached the perimeter. GuardiCore employs multiple detection methods to flush out even the most advanced attacks, including dynamic deception and policy-based detection. And our platform goes well beyond that, providing five critical capabilities for datacentre security: visibility, micro-segmentation, breach detection, automated analysis and response. This has allowed our customers to strengthen their overall datacentre and cloud security posture, better control east-west traffic and dramatically reduce time to detect, investigate and remediate attacks.
So if Black Friday serves as a reminder to your organization to re-assess your datacentre and cloud security stack, we are here to help.