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Report: Cyber-attacks cost companies more than revenue

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Companies that suffer a data breach are subject to customer, opportunity and revenue losses well exceeding 20%.

This was according to the “2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report (ACR),” from Cisco, which surveyed nearly 3,000 chief security officers (CSOs) and security operations leaders from 13 countries in the “Security Capabilities Benchmark Study,” part of the ACR.

More than 50% of organizations faced public scrutiny after suffering a security breach. Operations and finance systems were the most affected, followed by brand reputation and customer retention. For organizations that experienced an attack, 22% lost customers — 40% of them lost more than 20% of their customer base.

Twenty-nine percent lost revenue, with 38% of that group losing more than 20% of revenue. Another 23% of breached organizations lost business opportunities, with 42% of them losing more than 20% of potential business.

And not all attacks are “highly complex.” Criminals are leading a resurgence of “classic” attack vectors, such as adware and email spam, the latter at levels not seen since 2010. For example, spam accounts for nearly two-thirds (65%) of email with 8% to 10% cited as malicious. Global spam volume is rising, often spread by large and thriving botnets, the report said.

While attackers continue to leverage time-tested techniques, they also employ new approaches that mirror the “middle management” structure of their corporate targets. Dynamic changes in the technology landscape, led by digitization, are creating these opportunities for cybercriminals.

For example, new attack methods model corporate hierarchies. Certain malvertising campaigns employed brokers (or “gates”) that act as middle managers, masking malicious activity. Adversaries can then move with greater speed, maintain their operational space, and evade detection.

Meanwhile, cloud architecture intended to open up new business opportunities and increase efficiencies were categorized as high risk. In fact, 27% of employee-introduced, third-party cloud applications intended to open up new business opportunities created significant security concerns for organizations. Adware, software that downloads advertising without user permission, also continued to prove successful, infecting 75% of organizations investigated, the study said.

“In 2017, cyber is business, and business is cyber — that requires a different conversation, and very different outcomes,” John Stewart, senior VP and chief security and trust officer, Cisco. “Relentless improvement is required and that should be measured via efficacy, cost, and well managed risk.”

The good news is companies are fighting back. In fact, 90% of breached organizations are improving threat defense technologies and processes by separating IT and security functions (38%), increasing security awareness training for employees (38%), and implementing risk mitigation techniques (37%).

Leaders also reveal that their security departments are increasingly complex environments with 65% of organizations using from six to more than 50 security products, increasing the potential for security effectiveness gaps.

To prevent, detect, and mitigate threats and minimize risk, retailers should:

• Make security a business priority: Executive leadership must own and evangelize security and fund it as a priority.

• Measure operational discipline: Review security practices, patch, and control access points to network systems, applications, functions, and data.

• Test security effectiveness: Establish clear metrics. Use them to validate and improve security practices.

• Adopt an integrated defense approach: Make integration and automation high on the list of assessment criteria to increase visibility, streamline interoperability, and reduce the time to detect and stop attacks. Security teams then can focus on investigating and resolving true threats.

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Walmart acquires specialty outdoor retailer

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart has added another online asset to its battle against Amazon.

The chain announced it has acquired Moosejaw, an outdoor retailer know for its social media marketing expertise and strong online following among younger consumers, for approximately $51 million.

The acquisition, which closed on Feb. 13, is Walmart’s second acquisition in less than two months. In late December, the chain’s Jet.com unit acquired online footwear retailer ShoeBuy.

Founded in 1992 and based in Madison Heights, Michigan, Moosejaw has a significant web presence and also operates 10 stores. It carries more than 400 brands, including such higher-end labels as Patagonia, The North Face, Marmot, and Arc’teryx.

Walmart said that Moosejaw will continue to operate its site and stores as it has in the past, and will be run as a standalone and complementary brand to the discounter’s other e-commerce sites.

“Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford, his executive team, and Moosejaw’s 350-plus employees will continue to be based in Michigan, and will join our new U.S. e-commerce retail organization,” Walmart stated.

Walmart also noted that Moosejaw suppliers “that are interested in expanding their consumer reach will now have the opportunity to serve more customers through Jet.com and our other e-commerce sites.”

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Burlington the latest Sears replacement for PREIT

BY Al Urbanski

Burlington has been announced as the replacement for Sears at PREIT’s Magnolia Mall in Florence, South Carolina. Earlier this month, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Von Maur were introduced as new tenants of Sears spaces that had been recaptured by the Philadelphia-based developer.

In the case of Magnolia Mall, Burlington represents a first-to-market retailer for the region. Located off I-95, Florence is a popular stop for Florida bound tourists and the mall is surrounded by nearly a dozen hotels offering up in excess of 1,000 rooms. Current anchors include Belk, J.C. Penney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Best Buy.

"With consumer demand for off-price retail continuing to grow, Burlington will complement Magnolia Mall's merchandise mix,” said PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino.

PREIT’s other Sears recaptures occurred at Capital City Mall in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


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