Holding up a supermarket or a gas station can pay off for criminals. Retailers are a worthwhile target, especially at night when the day’s takings are still at the store. But the potential yield for cyber criminals is far greater. While retailers for decades had plenty of time to prevent shoplifting in their stores, IT security has not been a real issue in the industry sector for quite some time.
It still applies to most retailers today: stores are extensively equipped with video surveillance and electronic tags but when it comes to “data security“, retailers just shake their heads. In the EHI study ”IT Trends in Retail 2015“ , only nine percent of participating retailers mentioned the subject of IT security when asked about the latest technology trends.
Even though at least 26 percent of interviewed companies have a designated department to handle IT security management, it is still often possible for somewhat experienced hackers to steal thousands or millions of credit card and customer information without any major effort and make large profits by selling it. They gain access using various methods such as viruses, spyware or phishing (a method to acquire personal information of a user by setting up fake websites or emails). They gain access to the retailer’s network and are able to steal sensitive data.
This is certainly an effective method to quickly detect unauthorized data transfer, or ideally to prevent it entirely. However, consolidating data is just as important. When information about various network threats is consolidated in the cloud, the available computing power is simply higher, which in turn results in shorter response times and enables a more effective defense against security threats.
The key to effectively protecting a retail network, on the one hand, lies in segmentation to quickly identify unauthorized data transfers. On the other hand, information on network threats needs to be synchronized in the entire company, so that you can take action against the attack on a broad scale.