Today’s businesses are at increased risk of hackers. This is because of the increasing need for remote work, the growth of public cloud environments, and the evolution of the internet. But high-profile hacks are not peculiar only to banks and other big firms.
You’d think that an industry such as fashion would have no business bothering about data security. Yet, online interactions among fashion enthusiasts are on a steady rise and so are cybersecurity threats.
Cyber-attacks in the business world have become rampant. In fact, according to a report by the BBC, many companies have suffered at the hands of hackers. This frequency keeps increasing.
This has prompted the focus on OT cyber security in the fashion industry. It is an important goal if the fashion industry must remain a safe space.
There are cloud solutions and various other measures in place. These security measures help detect and stifle threats. But, even with that, the e-commerce and digital aspects of the fashion industry remain at risk.
So what roles does cyber security play in the fashion industry? Before we go into that, let us define some key concepts to make sense of them.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security involves all practices of protecting computers and servers. It concerns the prevention of malicious attacks on networks, electronic systems, data, programs, and devices. It is also known as Electronic Information Security. This concept consists of various categories, including network, information, application, operational technology security, etc.
Cyber security lowers the risks of cyber-attacks, hacks, and unauthorized access to networks. For the scope of the fashion industry, what is most required is operational technology (OT) cyber security.
OT Security Definition
OT cybersecurity is all the software and hardware used to detect and control changes to business architecture. Business architecture here describes processes, programs, devices, networks, and events in business. It is a mesh of protection for industrial systems and networks against cyber-attacks.
Most fashion brands fail to customize their cyber security framework. So, they fail to protect their OT security devices from cyber-attacks. This lack of awareness has posed more computer threats, and there is a need for OT security solutions.
OT security- Industrial Defender aims to help you make sense of your fashion business’s computer security. This OT security venture provides cyber security intelligence for your brand. It also detects and escalates cyber-attacks and manages your cyber security’s vulnerabilities. In addition, it enhances IT/OT collaboration.
What Role Does Cyber Security Play in the Fashion Industry?
It is in the best interest of the fashion industry to collaborate with OT security platforms and websites. This is because they provide an adequate security framework to protect websites and networks from attacks.
The importance of cyber security cannot go unnoticed. The fashion industry is more connected and data-driven. So, we need to use OT security tools to reduce vulnerabilities and curb cyber threats to property.
Cyber Security in Retail Fashion
The fashion industry now largely relies on data. Unfortunately, whether it’s a major retailer or a small store down the road, data breaches are possible. Fashion e-commerce stores, apps, and websites are as susceptible to cyberattacks as other online businesses. That is because most fashion brands now leverage the internet just like other businesses do. Regardless of size, they need it to market and sell their products.
However, digital risks are not limited to e-commerce alone. Fashion stores are equipped with tech from the shelves to the checkout. There have been ransomware attacks via supermarket software that have led to the closure of physical stores.
Fashion retail is one of the largest hubs of credit card payments and other kinds of financial dealings. More and more transactions are carried out online. As a result, financial transactions, data uploads, customer profiles, and information must be safe.
Thus, more fashion houses are making the right move by partnering with an OT security company. There’s no other way to efficiently manage their business and protect their businesses. These partnerships must be with reliable cyber security experts. The reason for this is not far-fetched. No matter how much cyber security defense you put up, there will always be a smart hacker building up better ways to penetrate it. Therefore, there must be ongoing checks and improvements to the cyber security system.
Cyber Security in Remote Work
Cyber security prepares stakeholders in the fashion industry for possible threats and breaches while working remotely. It also helps to combat cyber risks. Many fashion outfits now have collaborators and contributors working remotely from around the world. Therefore, proper security measures must be put in place to ensure the safety of the information being shared.
When customer data is shared with third parties in different locations different data and privacy laws apply. This often creates leeway for attacks.
Another major threat every fashion brand faces is competition. The fashion industry has become a major target of cyber-attacks because of fast fashion. Gone are the days when brands hoarded designs for fear of competition. The industry is now more reliant on speed and responsiveness. What trended yesterday may not be in vogue today. Hence, there is an increased amount of data available online and increased channels of attacks.
Cyber Security of the Official Website
Fashion designs, customer information, brand identity, and so on are stored on the internet. Therefore, a cyber attack could easily mean the loss of thousands to millions of dollars. Brands must, as a result, protect their intellectual property as well as their customers.
Fake profiles, domain spoofing, and fake websites are some common tricks scammers use. These scam artists use those tricks to take advantage of a fashion brand’s website and identity. Working with cyber security experts is the best way to stay ahead of such attacks.
Cyber security experts often ensure that a network is safe by simulating attacks via ethical hacking. Then they can stop every gap they find, ensuring the holistic security of your official website.
The OT security of every fashion brand that is serious about security must be strong. This should involve a regular audit of all valuable data considering new ways in which the data may be prone to threats.
That will mean more investment in cyber security. Yet, taking advantage of digital tools and technology to promote the fashion business comes at a price. Thus, every fashion business must be ready to make serious investments to protect its data. That should be the priority.
The world is more connected than ever before. Unfortunately, this gives rise to cyber attacks and online theft, scams, and breaches. The fashion industry is not left out. Due to the increasing need for fast fashion, users are always online. This creates avenues for hackers to intercept transactions and steal intellectual property.
Cyber security then becomes an important topic among fashion brands and businesses. Also, the need to detect and prevent cyberattacks and threats has given rise to the importance of OT security.
The introduction of cyber security solutions to the fashion industry is a step in the right direction, which puts the industry in the best position to protect its business. Cyber security promotes business success and curbs data thefts and cyber attacks from hackers.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.