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2021 prediction: Retail and manufacturing will be worst for cybersecurity breaches

Lianna Brinded
·Head of Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
Credit Cards Theft Concept. Hacker with Credit Cards on His Laptop Using Them For Unauthorized Shopping. Photo: Getty
Credit Cards Theft Concept. Hacker with Credit Cards on His Laptop Using Them For Unauthorized Shopping. Photo: Getty

The coronavirus pandemic has forced countries across the world to go into multiple lockdowns and therefore radically change the way we work and also buy goods and services.

Retailers have had to adapt to selling and moving goods, with more and more physical shops closing and more expanding their online offerings. While this has led to an online shopping and delivery goods boom, it has also opened the companies to more risk of cybersecurity breaches.

According to a new report by global research and consultancy firm Forrester, retail and manufacturing will have more breaches due to direct-to-consumer shift.

“As consumer buying habits undergo a massive paradigm shift, brands that once went to market via retailers and distributor supply chains face disruption, forcing them to now sell directly to consumers,” said the report.

“While a direct-to-consumer shift was already under way before COVID-19, the pandemic accelerated the timeline. Today, 44% of US online adults get tired of going to several stores to research or buy product, while conversely, 62% had performed an online transaction. This shift requires companies to expand their attack surface by adding digital storefronts and marketplaces and adopting new engagement models.

“More customer-facing applications means more code, and more code means more risk. In 2019, 40% of global enterprise security decision makers said a breach happened by exploiting a software vulnerability, and 37% said it was through a web application.”

WATCH: Online scams target coronavirus-related items

“If your firm is shifting to direct-to-consumer, prioritize product security, build a developer champions program, and explore breach and attack simulation tools,” Forrester added.

In October this year, a report by personal finance comparison site Finder showed that online shopping fraud has shot up by a third in 2020, with increased spending during COVID-19 lockdowns likely being the leading cause.

The first half year of 2020 saw online shopping and auction fraud increased by 37%, reaching 40,900 cases. This is an increase of 11,000 reports on the 29,900 for the same period last year, the data shows.

Earlier, consumer group Which? called on the UK government to include online scams in the upcoming Online Harms bill. A report from the group found a third of participants did not know fake products could be advertised on Facebook.

Which? carried out research with an online community of Facebook (FB) users over 10 days, and conducted an online survey of 1,700 Facebook users, as part of its new policy report Connecting the world to fraudsters? Protecting social media users from scams.

WATCH: New report helps consumers battle surge in online scams