November 10, 2022

Cyber Insurance & Security in Retail: A Broker's Guide

The retail industry is under constant threat of cyberattacks. In fact, retail remains one of the top 5 most targeted industries by cybercriminals.

With the proliferation of online shopping and the growth of omnichannel retail, the attack surface for retailers has expanded exponentially. Business owners not only have to worry about their physical stores and point-of-sale systems but also about their e-commerce platforms, customer data, and supply chain.

To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many retailers to accelerate their digital transformation plans, resulting in an even greater need for cyber security.

In this guide, we will take a look at the most common cyber threats faced by your retail clients and demonstrate how 1Fort can help cover them against bad actors.

5 most common cyber threats in retail

The large amounts of customer information backed up on retail store databanks make them a prime target for cyber criminality. These five attacks are among the most commonly carried out:

  1. Phishing
  2. Ransomware
  3. Supply chain attacks
  4. Data breaches
  5. Attacks on IoT devices, payment systems, and AI tech


Phishing attacks are, generally, malicious emails that have been created to look like official communications. When a retailer clicks on a link or attachment in the email, the threat actor can steal key information such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and payment details.


Over three-quarters of global retailers were targeted by ransomware attacks in 2021. The pandemic resulted in many businesses turning to a hybridized trading model through e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores. However, this shift also saw a rise in ransomware attacks, as cybercriminals targeted improperly protected retailers.

Ransomware attacks can cause huge financial implications as bad actors use encryption methods to lock transaction pages until the retailer pays the ransom.

Supply chain attacks

The hybridization of retailers also meant more businesses needed to leverage third parties to complete online transactions. This opened a window for cybercriminals to target lax links in the supply chain. Brokers should stress the importance of supply chain security, as any issues down the line could cause customer trust complexities for your clients.

Data breaches

There have already been thousands of data breaches by retailers this year. Cybercriminals have been known to use stolen credentials to gain access to customer PII and other vital data that can be sold at a high price on the black market.

It's also important for your clients to ensure all staff is kept up to date with all the latest cyber security training. Phishing attacks that mimic business communications can target company staff and result in the compromization of customer data.

IoT, payment device, and machine learning attacks

Another increasingly prevalent attack vector targets IoT devices and other tech aimed at moving or exchanging payment information over the internet.

Along with hybridization, another elemental fallout from the covid pandemic was the switch to contactless payment tech. While acting as an extremely successful payment expedition solution NFCs have got their vulnerabilities.

In addition, AI and machine-learning-based systems have added further dimensions to online and offline retailing. However, hackers have used bot technology to infiltrate these systems and extract customer data.

Most common e-commerce cyberattack types

The further development of online resources and technology has meant an increase in retail clients being targeted by these common e-commerce attack vectors.

  1. Malicious code injection
  2. DDoS
  3. Return and refund or credit card fraud

Malicious code injection

Malicious code injection is when an attacker inserts malignant code into a website to take control of it or steal data.


DDoS or Direct Denial of Service attacks can have a prolific and immediate effect on e-commerce businesses. By flooding your client's server with requests, bad actors essentially crash the website or online store, denying customers access and preventing the client from completing sales.

Financial attacks

Financial attacks or financial frauds happen when an attacker uses stolen card credentials to make purchases on your client's site. Additionally, another common form of financial fraud is when cybercriminals enter false return requests to try and get a refund.

Partner with 1Fort to keep your clients protected

With the growing number of online retail stores showing no signs of slowing, it’s safe to say that an increase in cyberattacks throughout the industry is likely to grow in tandem.

By helping you seamlessly get your clients ready for coverage, you can ensure your client stays protected against all of the above threats.

Learn more about how partnering with 1Fort can help you sell to and close more retail clients. Get in touch today!