As I was driving home the other day one of my children spotted a house with old Halloween decorations on it. With the holidays coming, it’s a good reminder of the potential impact they can have on an organization. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the weekend in between kick off the unofficial holiday shopping season which goes until the end of the year.
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.
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:
Let me ask you a question. How safe is your security position in your retail store? If you lock your doors and windows, then why not lock your network as well? Locking down your network does not mean you are slowing it down for legitimate use but rather, hardening it against attacks.
Not too long ago my wife and I went out to a nice restaurant for dinner. When it was time to pay, the waiter took my credit card and swiped it using a portable credit card processing device. Being in the security industry, I couldn’t help but wonder if the transaction was secure.
No one needs reminding that 2014 was one of the most profitable years for cyber-criminals. The timeline graphic below takes us back to memory lane of what happened to large retailers such as Target, Home Depots and others. Despite efforts to comply with the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) and other security measures for protecting electronic transactions and consumer data, U.S.-based retailers were hit hard by data breaches last year.