by Olivia Edwards
The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all online shoppers. But the rest of the decade will see innovation on a far greater scale and across all channels. That’s going to be great for shoppers. And it will offer retailers previously untapped opportunities to drive operational efficiencies, improve the reliability of supply chains and optimise the customer experience. But while greater profits and burnished brand reputation await, so does cyber risk.
No single vendor will hold the answers, but by anticipating what retail might look like in 2030, organisations can at least get a head start on planning for the future.
What’s new for 2030?
Trend Micro research highlights seven pillars of next-gen retail. These are:
Robotisation: The use of robots including drones to streamline deliveries and returns and even to replace in-store assistants.
Supply chain evolution: Real-time order tracking for customers, greater automation and just-in-time processes to cut costs, drive greater efficiencies and reduce stock wastage.
Delivery models: Automation, drones, as-a-service shopping and other innovations to improve the click-and-collect and delivery experience.
In-store experience: IoT sensors will support smart shopping trolleys and shelves, while robotic assistants can help streamline customer service.
Digitisation: E-commerce, cloud infrastructure, mobile technology and connectivity everywhere will drive digital across all parts of retail.
AI and machine learning: Combined with the power of IoT data, AI/ML analytics at home and in-store will predict shopper behaviour to enhance the customer experience and ensure stores never run out of products.
Cashless payments: The pandemic has already accelerated the use of NFC-based payments via contactless cards and smartphones. Cryptocurrencies and digital coupons will continue the digital innovation journey.
What are the risks?
However, with new digital investments come broader corporate attack surfaces which offer threat actors a much larger target to aim at. Financially motivated cyber-criminals will be looking to monetise data theft and extort retailers by hijacking IT assets. Nation states may try to disrupt geopolitical adversaries by sabotaging supply chains. Even terrorists could find opportunities to cause chaos by taking control of autonomous vehicles.
Here are some of the potential risks retailers could face in 2030:
- Hijacking of autonomous delivery vehicles for surveillance, extortion or terrorism
- Intercepting delivery and pick-up spots to steal goods
- Use of bots to order high demand items and sell them elsewhere at a profit
- Information theft from bricks and mortar stores
- Attacks on IoT telemetry to disrupt essential business processes or facilitate fraud
- Targeting of shoppers’ digital identities and the databases which store and track this info
- A larger cloud computing target to aim info-stealing and disruptive attacks at
- Theft of e-vouchers and gift cards
- SIM-jacking to hijack mobile payments
- Deepfakes to subvert voice biometrics as a remote payment authentication mechanism
Heading off risk
The Trend Micro’s platform already offers retailers a formidable unified security suite covering everything from cloud to networks, endpoints, managed services and threat detection and response. We’re also building out capabilities for connected vehicles and will continue to research and develop new solutions—not just tailored for the challenges of today, but the threats of tomorrow.
The future hasn’t been written yet. But by peering more closely into what might be, we can all do better at anticipating where the greatest risks may congregate in several years’ time. And then head them off.