Retail

NRF Retail’s the BIG Show
The data is still coming in, but it’s looking like consumer spending this holiday season will once again outperform previous years. Multiple research firms including the National Retail Federation (NRF) are predicting a growth in sales over the same period in 2015. Credit card vendor Mastercard is forecasting a 19% increase in online sales over the holidays.
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The 2016 Holiday shopping season is well underway, and we are poised for a record-setting year. The National Retail Federation reports that over 154 million consumers shopped over the Thanksgiving weekend, up nearly 2% from 2015. A very telling statistic highlights the brick-and-mortar vs. online shopping trend: the survey found that 44% of shoppers went online, whereas 40% shopped in-store.
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We are midway through the shopping season this year and already online retail shopping is having record sales. According to Adobe, final numbers indicate that Black Friday surpassed estimates, with $3.34 billion – 21.6 percent growth, year-over-year. Mobile accounted for $1.2 billion, a 33 percent increase from the year before. Gartner predicts that 70 percent of mobile employees will use their personal smart devices to conduct work by 2018.
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It’s summertime, so that means Black Friday is only four months away. Some retailers like to get a head start on the event and offer special Black Friday deals during July as a means to generate some additional sales over the summer. There are also “Christmas in July” promotions. Most of us, however, will wait to make our purchases until the traditional start of the holiday shopping season in November.
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Businessman reading in an airport terminal
I started this year speaking and writing about how retail establishments can protect themselves from the rising tide of malware. I continue this train of thought by considering the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) as a general guidance to protect any small business. Instead of looking at PCI-DSS as guidelines for protecting cardholder data, consider it as guidance for protecting any critical data.
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Back from NYC, where I attended last week’s National Retail Federation annual conference, “The Big Show.” It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a major event like this one, but retail continues to be important to SonicWall and is now part of what I do here at SonicWall Security, particularly for our SonicWall network security offerings.
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The 2015 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) estimate of $400 million financial loss from security breaches show the importance of managing the breaches and ensuring appropriate security infrastructure is put in place. Retail industry saw high-profile retail breaches this year through RAM scraping malware aimed at point-of-sale (POS) systems. The security breaches affect both large and small organizations.
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The holiday shopping season is also a big season for cyber-criminals to breach high-traffic retailers. Forecasting from trends I have seen over the past 18 months, here are six security tips on how to protect your retail business. These often-overlooked recommendations are not limited to the holiday season, and you can implement them at any time: 1.
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