‘Tis the season for the retail industry to achieve some of their biggest numbers of the year! Unfortunately, Greater Boston network security experts say that retail is one of the most vulnerable sectors when it comes to cyber-attacks, and there have been more recorded each year than in any other industry. As retail organizations prepare their goods, specials, and staff for high-volume holiday sales, cyber criminals are gearing up as well to take advantage of vulnerabilities. While some of the threats are predictable and even understandable due to the nature of the retail industry, others may be surprising. Innovative technology solutions can be used to thwart retail cybercrime in Boston and the surrounding area. It is possible to prevent data breaches and take steps to protect essential data – even if your business is the target of an attack.

Organized Retail Crime

Are you aware of the Dark Web underworld that makes up the global Organized Retail Crime (ORC) ring on the internet? Studies recently released reveal that the ORC is responsible for more than $30 billion in retail losses each year. Criminal groups have organized to obtain large volumes of leaked credit card numbers and personal data from consumers. The consumer is a victim, having to fight the fraudulent charges with banking institutions and credit card companies, but the retail organizations that unknowingly sell the goods to stolen credit card accounts are as well. Before the fraud is uncovered, the ORC makes hundreds of illegal purchases across retail websites – and sometimes in stores – before the consumers, banks, or credit card companies even suspect that something has happened.

It is essential to prevent data breaches, which is how many of these criminals gain access to consumer information in the first place. Whether they have access to credit cards, gift cards directly from the retail store, pre-paid cards, coupons, and other products, it all spells significant financial loss to the retail business. These scams cost retailers millions of dollars in lost sales from gift cards, coupons, and other products that these criminals purchase. Other methods, including card-not-present (CNP) fraud, a type of sale where the customer does not have to physically use the card during a transaction, are also popular. CNP fraud is typically conducted online, but there are instances where it can be used in-store, depending on the retailer’s policies.

Preventing Fraud Online

Online retailers frequently require customers to provide the CVV code and other identifying information from credit cards to prevent fraud. But the truth is that this data is now collected by those who work in retail cybercrime in Boston and around the globe. As soon as retail stores think they have found a new way to overcome fraud, it seems as though the Dark Web is always ready and one step ahead.

Some of the data harvested by cyber criminals include:

  • zip codes
  • PINs
  • CVVs
  • name (as written on credit card)
  • mailing address
  • last 4 (social security number)
  • social media log-in details (Google, Facebook, etc.)

What You Can Do

As a retail business, what can you do to prevent data breaches and safeguard essential customer and company data? At Synivate, our innovative technology solutions can help you prevent many issues from ever occurring and also reduce the impact of retail cybercrime in Boston and the surrounding area. Our offerings of Greater Boston network security, employee education programs, IT solutions, and state-of-the-art remote monitoring and management services can help to stop many cyber-attacks in their tracks. However, it is our approach to business continuity through a series of data back-up and recovery programs that help our clients to reduce downtime and get back to making sales without missing a beat.

We offer a comprehensive approach to Information Technology (IT), offering our clients the best way to create a secure and efficient computer network through 24/7/365 monitoring and management. Strategic software updates, computer and network security, asset tracking, system performance, mobile device management, worry-free monitoring, and IT technician services can all be used to uncover important security or performance issues and address them before they become an expensive problem. We monitor your networking around the cloud so you can stay focused on operating and growing your business. Contact Synivate today for a FREE estimate and outline of the professional services that we provide. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you might have and offer a consultation to help you find the services that are right for you. Call today at 617-517-0704.