Shop Direct, the UK’s second largest pure-play digital retailer, has selected software company Vectra’s Cognito AI platform to protect its e-commerce sites and enterprise operations from cyber attacks.
Cognito uses AI to detect hidden threats that can be found in virtual workloads in data centres and the cloud, as well as in Internet of Things (IoT) and user devices.
Shop Direct has a lot to protect across its multichannel estate. The retailer has annual sales revenues of £1.93 billion from its own customer-facing brands, such as Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com. Its sites sell more than 1,800 brands and receive over 1.3 million clicks day from a claimed four million customers, to whom it delivers 49 million products a year.
With such weight and significance placed on its e-commerce platform, the company needed to find a new threat detection and response platform to counter the growing threat of cyber attacks.
“Every organisation at some point is subject to a breach, incident, or cyber event,” said Liam Fu, head of information security at Shop Direct. “The ability to quickly and accurately detect and respond to threats is paramount, and Vectra is helping us to reduce business risk.”
The recent Cyber Readiness Report produced by Forrester Research for insurance company Hiscox found that nearly half of its 4,100 respondents (45 percent) had suffered a cyber breach in the past year – in 42 percent of cases due to an external hack.
Of the organisations targeted, more than two-thirds (67 percent) suffered two or more attacks, while 21 per cent suffered four or more. A small number were hit more than ten times last year, said Forrester.
Hiscox adviser Robert Hannigan, the former GCHQ director who set up the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, said that the IoT is worsening the security problem: “The rapid growth of the Internet of Things will amplify insecurities by adding millions of new devices with minimal built-in security. For those trying to protect against attack, the shortage of cyber skills will continue to be chronic.”
Vectra says that its Cognito AI platform prioritises the highest risks, so that Shop Direct systems can act quickly to stop in-progress attacks. The security company claims that threat analysis that might normally take hours or days can be completed in minutes with Cognito.
“AI and machine learning are transforming cybersecurity and enabling enterprises to better defend themselves,” said Hitesh Sheth, president and CEO of Vectra. “Organisations like Shop Direct are augmenting their security teams with AI to protect the success of their business.”
Internet of Business says
As the cyber threat landscape expands – partly on the back of insecure IoT devices and applications – all organisations need to consider the security of their IT systems and customer-facing services in new ways. With GDPR coming into force in a matter of weeks, the need to do so could not be clearer.