Luxury Cybercrime: Best Practices for CISOs
Beyond the catwalks and the glossy magazine covers, luxury fashion brands are expected to hit a global market volume of $115.9 billion this year, with French and Italian luxury brands leading the way.
From New York, Rome, and Paris, luxury brands are major players in the global economy—which makes them a standout target for hackers, ransomware gangs, and other cyber criminals.
In this guide, we’ll unpack what makes luxury brands susceptible to cyberattacks, and some data to keep in mind for 2024, along with the best cyber security measures they can adopt to stay ahead of the game (with a boost from CybelAngel).
Here’s a quick glossary of terms to keep in mind along the way:
- Ransomware attack: When malicious software, known as ‘malware’ encrypts stolen data and withholds the decryption key until a sum of money is paid
- Phishing attack: When authentic-looking emails, messages, and websites are used to trick people into sharing sensitive information
- EASM cybersecurity: ‘External Attack Surface Management’ (more on this safeguarding technique later)
1. Why are luxury fashion brands a target?
Cyber threats are when ill-meaning people aim to compromise the integrity of online spaces, through techniques such as hacking or infostealer malware. For example, they might orchestrate customer data breaches, prey on supply chain vulnerabilities, or disrupt software functionality.
And when it comes to cyber attacks by industry, luxury brands are a particularly desirable target.
- Their customer data is particularly valuable: Luxury brands will have the personal data of often wealthy and powerful customers, including customer names, birth dates, phone numbers, credit card payment information and purchase history.
- Spending is at an all-time high: Luxury items are (by nature) expensive. Cyber criminals, information stealers, and threat actors can use these large financial processes to redirect funds, intercept payments, or create fake transactions.
- Image is everything: Every luxury fashion brand values its reputation, which can make it more vulnerable to blackmail via data breaches or ransomware attacks.
- Intellectual property can be stolen: From designs, to trade secrets, to patents, this stolen data can be sold on the dark web, or to counterfeit goods manufacturers, or competitors. Limited editions and exclusive products can also be stolen, so that people can manipulate the market.
- The impact can be global: With an international customer base and stakeholders worldwide, luxury brands have a huge attack surface for criminals to exploit across the globe.
- Their online presence is easy to exploit: 25% of luxury goods purchases will be made online by 2025, creating more opportunities for phishing attacks, payment fraud, and other e-commerce cybercrimes.
2. Common cyber risks and trends in 2024
Let’s talk about the main ways that a luxury brand could be targeted this year, based on recent trends and notable cyber attacks in the industry.
1. Fake websites and social media profiles
During Black Friday 2023, many cyber criminals created spoof versions of popular designer websites. They then sent emails promoting big discounts on watches, handbags, and clothing. Once people clicked the links and entered their details, their customer data was compromised.
Fake social media profiles are also rampant, and fraudulent and/or counterfeit goods can be promoted with ease, especially across Instagram and Facebook.
2. Data breaches
One of the greatest threats to luxury brands in 2024 is data security. Its their most valuable asset, and thereby the biggest target.
Here are a few examples of luxury cyber attacks in Europe alone…
- A well-known Italian luxury brand was hacked, by the BlackCat ransomware group, with client user data stolen and posted for sale
- Another French beauty brand suffered a cybersecurity incident in June 2023, when someone gained unauthorised access to its systems and disrupted their business operations
- An Italian designer’s e-commerce and automation platform was also hacked in January 2023
3. Artificial intelligence
Lots of luxury brands now use artificial intelligence for product recommendations, customer support, and style tips.
But with the merging of technology and luxury, fashion brands can also open themselves up to potential cyber attacks. For example, regulators in the UK are concerned that hackers can use artificial intelligence to mimic their victims’ language or gain more information about them.
3. Fighting back: What luxury brands can do
Due diligence cybersecurity is no longer optional.
If luxury fashion brands want to protect themselves from cyber attacks, then they need to proactively put cybersecurity measures in place—rather than reactively implementing them when something goes wrong.
Fortunately, there are 5 ways to quickly take back control of your cybersecurity and enjoy peace of mind—with a little help from CybelAngel, the world’s leading platform for external attack surface management.
1. Understand and secure all your assets
First off, it’s important to build a picture of your full digital footprint.
Make sure you have a comprehensive knowledge of all your online assets, including:
- Connected file servers
- SaaS solutions
- Industrial systems
- DevOps tools
- Remote desktop services
- IoT devices
Once you have the full list, make sure that they all have an owner, and work out their level of cyber risk.
With CybelAngel, you can quickly and easily use asset discovery and monitoring to track your digital presence in real time. It will show you which assets are most vulnerable, helping you to secure them and reduce your attack surface.
2. Protect yourself from data breaches
Next, it’s time to protect all your confidential data so that no one can exploit it. Run an inventory of all your sensitive documents in your connected storage devices, cloud storage, applications, and databases.
This is where CybelAngel comes in.
With its data breach prevention features, it can quickly detect potential information leaks and keep you informed every 24 hours.
3. Block anyone from stealing your credentials
After, it’s vital to ensure that no one can steal and sell your account credentials anywhere on the dark web. To do this, you’ll need a specialised solution to proactively sidestep any infostealers.
CybelAngel offers an account takeover prevention service, which will discover:
- Infostealer credentials
- Exposed API codes and tokens
- Unprotected emails and passwords
This will keep you safe from expensive account takeovers and secure your business on every front.
4. Monitor the dark web (and everywhere cyber criminals are located)
To keep one step ahead of cybercrime, it’s important to be aware of any discussions on the dark web that are linked to you and your brand.
With dark web monitoring, CybelAngel can uncover and track these messages so that you can stay fully aware and informed of the threats targeting your business.
You can then eliminate any cyber risks before they have a chance to attack your brand.
5. Secure your domain
Fraudulent sites that mimic your business can do real damage to your customer base, and impact your online reputation.
Fortunately, with CybelAngel’s domain protection service, you can take down any spoof websites before they hurt your brand.
Bonus tip: Take a look at this webinar recording on external attack surface management to learn more about how CybelAngel can keep your company secure.
In this day and age, cyber hygiene is an absolute “must” for luxury fashion brands everywhere.
Fortunately, with the right tools like CybelAngel, you can secure your luxury brand and proactively fight back against cybercriminals, without breaking a sweat.
Are you ready to secure your business and enjoy peace of mind? You can book a demo right now with CybelAngel to discover everything it can do to protect your company.
Together, we can fight back against cybercrime and help our businesses to thrive.