Attacks on Retail Systems Drop in 2016’s Fourth Quarter

March 2, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Online shopping is starting to feel a little safer, isn’t it? If that’s a sentiment ringing in your heart, then there’s good news: your head won’t disagree. Especially with the revelation that cyberattacks were actually down in the fourth quarter of 2016, based on a new report from Akami Technologies.

The Akami report noted that attacks were indeed down, though not completely out by any means. Using the data around Thanksgiving for its core sample—which includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and many of the major shopping days before Christmas—Akami found out that Web application attacks were actually down 19 percent over the same time the preceding year.

What’s more, it turns out that the levels of cyberattacks actually varied from point to point, with the United States proving the leader in cyberattacks, taking just over one in four such attacks at 28 percent of the field. The Netherlands came in second, oddly enough, at 17 percent.

Germany came in next at just over half the Netherlands’ volume at 9.2 percent and Brazil a little over half of that at 5.5 percent. Web application attacks were also most prevalent in the United States, with attacks falling 53 percent over the previous year’s numbers.

Even retail segments varied in terms of cyberattacks; four big categories were leaders on this front, including media and entertainment, consumer electronics systems, apparel and footwear and commerce portals.

So while it’s gotten safer to shop online—and a lot safer in some areas—the key takeaway here is that the devotion to security seen in a lot of places has paid off, and in a grand way. Attacks are down overall, and that’s cause for rejoice.

Of course, it’s also not a time to relax in security here, either; if security should relent, then the number of cyberattacks would likely spike as criminals looked for new avenues of approach. Security is the greatest prevention of attack there is, and by working now to protect systems against attack, we help ensure that these numbers not only stay low, but continue to decline.

We will likely never see an end to cyberattacks, but the more rare we can make these events, the better off we all are in the end.