Cyberattack on UK IT Firm Swan Retail Affects up to 300 Retailers

Update: The article was updated on August 23rd, 2023, with new information, and the title was corrected from 300 retailers to up to 300 retailers.

  1. Swan Retail IT Outage: On August 13, 2023, UK’s Swan Retail faced major technical glitches due to a cyberattack by an unauthorized third party, causing significant disruptions to up to 300 retailers.
  2. Response and Investigation: Swan Retail swiftly alerted internal IT, retailers, and authorities. The UK NCSC, Action Fraud, and others are investigating the incident.
  3. Retailer Impact: Diverse independent retailers, from fashion to sports equipment, suffered financial losses due to suspended services and disrupted launches.
  4. Growing Cyberattack Trend: Eduard Doroskevic from Adarma noted the rising trend of coordinated cyberattacks across industries, emphasizing the need for collaborative defense.
  5. Securing the Digital Chain: Doroskevic stressed securing the digital supply chain, suggesting constant vigilance, risk mitigation, and resource prioritization to protect against evolving threats.

On Sunday, 13 August 2023, a UK-based Retail Management and EPOS Solutions provider called Swan Retail observed ‘technical difficulties,’ in several back-office systems causing ‘significant’ service disruptions.

In a statement to, the company confirmed that it had suffered a cyber attack.

“Swan has experienced a criminal cyber-attack incident causing significant disruption to our services and impacting some of our customers’ businesses.” “We have worked around the clock to resolve this issue and have now begun to resume provision of our online services. We take cybersecurity extremely seriously and continue to liaise with law enforcement on this matter.”

Swan Retail

According to a statement from the company’s representative, its systems were targeted by an unauthorized third party to which the company responded quickly by alerting its internal IT team, affiliated retailers, and law enforcement authorities.

However, around 300 retailers have been affected by this attack. The company didn’t disclose what kind of attack took place that resulted in such an extensive outage of services.

For your information, Swan Retail is part of Swan Group, acquired by ClearCourse in November 2020. The company supplies stock control and account systems, payment gateways, online ordering, and other IT solutions to retailers all across the UK. ClearCourse is a conglomerate of numerous tech brands offering integrated software solutions and payment platforms.

The cyberattack on Swan Retail has impacted a wide range of independent retailers from almost all sectors, such as fashion, homewares, furniture, departmental stores, sports/pets/outdoor equipment dealers, stadiums, and garden centers.

Many vendors failed to bring in new collections and suffered heavy financial losses. Their services have remained suspended since Sunday; however, at the time of updating this article, the company confirmed that the suspended services are being restored.

Nevertheless, the incident is under investigation by the UK National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), Action Fraud, and other agencies.

About this incident, Eduard Doroskevic, Principal Consultant at Adarma told that the industry is experiencing a systematic wave of cyberattacks, to address which well-coordinated efforts are mandatory.

“Businesses can no longer operate in isolation. Cyber risks are systemic and can extend beyond a business’s perimeter, allowing adversaries to infiltrate partnering organizations. Addressing this challenge requires a coordinated effort,” said Doroskevic.

Doroskevic warned that “Incidents like this are rising in frequency, highlighting the importance of securing the digital supply chain. Employing an ongoing strategy of discovery, assessment, and validation is essential to ensure organizations maintain constant vigilance and uphold their risk tolerance thresholds within acceptable boundaries.”

“Through a comprehensive approach encompassing risk mitigation, resource prioritization, and continuous surveillance, enterprises can reinforce their supply chains and protect their vital assets in response to evolving threats,” he advised.

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