The retail industry, a prime target for cyberattacks, faced 24% of all such attacks, more than any other sector, with 629 confirmed incidents and 241 breaches in 2022 alone. 

Moreover, the average cost of a data breach in retail soared to $3.28 million

To bring clarity to the magnitude and implications of these cyber threats, I’d like to share the most important retail cybersecurity statistics that are crucial to note immediately. 🌐💳🔒

Retail Cybersecurity Statistics: The Key Data

  • 24% of all cyberattacks, more than any other industry, were directed at retailers.
  • The retail industry experienced 629 confirmed incidents and 241 breaches in 2022.
  • In retail, the average cost of a data breach in 2022 was $3.28 million.
  • Sales growth drops 5.4 percent for compromised retail companies.
  • 50% of retail cyberattack victims were extorted, and 25% had their credentials harvested.
  • 45% of retailers reported an increase in the volume, severity, or scope of cyberattacks in 2021/22.
  • 77% of retail businesses were attacked by ransomware in 2021, an increase from 44% in 2020.
  • 98% of the 629 incidents in the retail sector involved a financial motive.
  • 89% of retailers affected by ransomware reported revenue or business losses.
  • Nearly 20% of customers say they will stop purchasing from companies that have been hacked.

Sources: (Fortinet, CSO Online, WWD, NBER, Arctic Wolf, ISA Cybersecurity, Trend Micro, Security Magazine, Virtual Armour.)

Learn More: Retail Data

Retailers Targeted: 24% of Cyber Attacks Focus on Retail Industry.

Important takeaway:

Insight from DataRationale
Retail stands as the prime targetThe fact that retailers face 24% of all cyberattacks underscores their vulnerable position in the cyber threat landscape.
Elevated stakes in safeguarding customer dataGiven the nature of retail transactions, there’s a wealth of customer data at risk, emphasizing the gravity of these attacks.
Imperative for advanced cybersecurity measuresThe preeminent threat level demands that retailers not only enhance but also constantly update their cybersecurity protocols to stay ahead of attackers.

Source: Fortinet

Retail Sector Faces 629 Incidents, 241 Breaches in 2022 Alone.

Important takeaway:

Insight from DataRationale
Alarmingly high number of security incidents629 confirmed incidents in a single year highlight an urgent security concern for the retail industry.
Significant portion of incidents lead to breachesWith nearly 40% of these incidents resulting in breaches, it underscores the effectiveness of the threats and the potential magnitude of the consequences.
Mandate for reinforced security infrastructureThese figures emphasize the necessity for the retail industry to bolster security measures, both in prevention and rapid response.

Source: CSO Online

Average Data Breach Price Tag in Retail Hits $3.28 Million in 2022.

Important takeaway:

Insight from DataRationale
Staggeringly high financial implicationsAn average cost of $3.28 million per breach underscores the severe monetary repercussions of security lapses in the retail sector.
Necessity for robust investment in cybersecurityGiven the substantial financial stakes, it’s clear that investing in cutting-edge cybersecurity measures can be both a safeguard and a cost-saving strategy.
Indication of broader impacts beyond immediate costsWhile the direct financial hit is palpable, the figure also hints at potential intangible costs such as brand reputation damage, loss of customer trust, and long-term business disruptions.

Source: WWD

Sales Dwindle by 5.4% for Cyber-Compromised Retailers.

Important takeaway:

Insight from DataRationale
Direct correlation between breaches and sales declineA 5.4 percent drop in sales growth for compromised companies indicates a tangible negative impact of security breaches on financial performance.
Importance of consumer trust in retailThis decline suggests that customer trust is paramount; any breach can deter customers, affecting revenue streams.
Urgency for proactive reputation managementCompromised companies must not only address security issues but also engage in restoring consumer confidence to mitigate long-term sales impacts.

Source: NBER

Of Retail Cyber Attack Victims, 50% Face Extortion; 25% Lose Credentials.

Important takeaway:

Insight from DataRationale
Extortion as a dominant cybercriminal strategyWith half of the retail cyberattack victims being extorted, it’s evident that financial gains remain a primary motive for attackers targeting this sector.
Significant risk of identity theft and fraudThe harvesting of 25% of victims’ credentials underscores the multi-pronged threat landscape where, beyond immediate losses, there’s a looming danger of future fraud.
Imperative for comprehensive security measuresThese findings stress the need for retailers to implement a wide array of security solutions, ranging from ransomware protection to advanced credential safeguarding.

Source: Arctic Wolf

45% Retailers Witness Surge in Cyber Attack Intensity During 2021/22.

Important takeaway:

Insight from DataRationale
Escalating cyber threats in the retail sectorWith nearly half of retailers noting an uptick in cyberattacks, it’s evident that the sector is facing intensifying digital security challenges.
Multi-dimensional growth of cyber risksThe increase not just in volume, but also in severity and scope, suggests that cyber threats are becoming both more frequent and complex.
Urgency for fortified and adaptive security measuresThe evolving nature of threats mandates retailers to constantly enhance their cybersecurity strategies, ensuring they address the expanding breadth and depth of attacks.

Source: ISA Cybersecurity

Ransomware Targets Soar: 77% of Retailers Hit in 2021, Up from 44% in 2020.

Important takeaway:

Insight from DataRationale
Dramatic surge in ransomware attacks against retailersThe leap from 44% in 2020 to 77% in 2021 demonstrates an aggressive and concerning trajectory for ransomware threats targeting the retail sector.
Retail sector’s heightened vulnerabilitySuch a marked increase indicates that cybercriminals are identifying the retail sector as a lucrative or vulnerable target, intensifying their focus on it.
Imperative for rapid and robust countermeasuresThe substantial prevalence of ransomware attacks mandates immediate, decisive action, urging retailers to prioritize ransomware defense in their cybersecurity frameworks.

Source: Trend Micro

Staggering 98% of Retail Incidents in 2022 Motivated by Financial Gain.

98% of the 629 incidents in the retail sector involved a financial motive

Important takeaway:

Insight from DataRationale
Overwhelming financial incentive in retail incidentsThe staggering 98% statistic underscores that monetary gain remains the predominant driver behind attacks on the retail sector.
Retail’s unique vulnerabilitySuch a high percentage highlights the sector’s intrinsic appeal for cybercriminals, drawn by the potential for direct financial rewards.
Imperative for targeted security solutionsGiven the evident financial motive, retailers must tailor their security measures to specifically address and deter financially-driven cyber threats.

Source: Arctic Wolf

Ransomware’s Ripple: 89% Affected Retailers Report Business Revenue Losses.

Important takeaway:

Insight from DataRationale
Devastating financial implications for affected retailersAn overwhelming 89% reporting revenue or business losses makes it clear that ransomware isn’t merely an IT problem—it directly impacts the bottom line.
Ransomware’s broader operational consequencesBeyond the ransom amount, the data highlights disruptions in business operations, potential downtime, and long-term reputational costs.
Urgency for preemptive and holistic defense strategiesGiven the widespread and severe repercussions, it is paramount for retailers to invest in comprehensive ransomware mitigation and recovery plans.

Source: Security Magazine

Post-Hack Boycott: 20% Customers Shun Retailers with Cyber Breaches.

Important takeaway:

Insight from DataRationale
Significant customer attrition post-security breachA sizeable 20% customer exodus following hacks underscores the high stakes of maintaining cybersecurity in upholding customer loyalty.
Reputation and trust are paramount in retailThe figures clearly highlight that, for a fifth of consumers, trust—once broken—can lead to decisive shifts in purchasing behavior.
Imperative for proactive communication and damage controlBeyond robust security measures, it’s vital for retailers to have clear communication strategies in place to rebuild customer confidence post-incident.

Source: Virtual Armour