Europe witnesses a simulated cyber attack on retail sector


European retail sector witnessed a simulated cyber attack on certain organizations last week. As per the reliable sources, the attack was hosted by Europol European Cyber Crime Center (EC3) in association with MasterCard and was aimed to raise awareness around cyber attacks.

Since Cyber crooks are increasingly targeting European merchants; the cyber attack exercise which was carried out from Europol’s headquarters located in The Hague, Netherlands, was aimed at retail merchants to give them a first-hand experience of such attacks.

As per the report from EC3, the cyber threat exercise helped bring representatives from retail industry, banking sector, forensic investigation field, Dutch Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECRF) and Dutch Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) onto one platform.

The cyber crime center will extend the attack to participating Europe-based financial institutions that process their credit and debit cards in this week. This practice is said to give retail and financial firms operating in and around Europe a clear understanding of how cyber attacks take place and what steps should be followed when their firm is hit by a cyber attack.

The simulation exercise included the steps to deal with threats such as DDOS and interception of payment systems by fraudsters. Later, all the CIOs from the participating firms will get a briefing from industry and law enforcement experts on how to mitigate, investigate and offer assistance in the event of a cyber hack.

EC3 is also interested in sharing information on cybercrime taking place on European firms through a common platform. Already, banks such as Lloyd’s are working on this issue and have succeeded in getting the nod of the European Union.

With this law, financial institutions offering cyber insurance can create a roadmap for companies seeking insurance for cyber threats. This, in fact, helps in providing a quote to companies based on parameters such as the business vertical they are operating, threats they have faced so far and might face in future and the crime rate prevailing in that region when it comes to cyber security.

However, the challenge will be to link info to specific goals and to share the info with the right people.

Hope, the current workshop conducted by Europol helps in getting nearer to this goal as a lot of surprising facts were revealed from the said cyber attack simulation. It includes details like how vulnerable are enterprises in Europe to cyber threats; how is their defense mechanism against cyber threats; what infrastructure is and should be in place in dealing with such threats and such.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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