Are Holiday Retailers Ready For The Unforseen Security Implications?

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It's that time of year when retailers are working extremely hard to personalize the shopping experience for it's holiday shoppers. One can expect the use of IoT (Internet of Things) to help make the brick-and-mortar shopping experience just as personal as the online version.”

With popular social apps already sending alerts to your phone when you visit a store, letting you know of reviews, special offers and discounts. The next obvious step is for retail chains to incorporate this technology inside the store to drive foot traffic suggesting their newest products you just can't do without this holiday season.

However, the security risks must also be carefully considered in this new digital retail era. For example: How will this data be protected? Will it be shared with third parties? Can it be sold or even traded without shoppers consent?  Special care and safety are also required when handling this type of sensitive information.

If a hacker were to gain access and exploit this customer information, it would be a huge value to aid in fraud, phishing campaigns, or used in a targeted attack on an individual or their employer. The first step retailers should take to address cybersecurity risks is to inform customers of what personally identifiable information (PII) is being shared with the stores. Not to mention the identification process used to access their PII should also be protected with the latest encryption technology. 

While tough technical measures are a must, the human side of the equation cannot be overlooked when trying to prevent cyber fraud and attacks. Retailers need to train their staff about the potential threats. One final step would be to perform a thorough penetration test on the code and systems behind the feature. 

With retail continuing to rely on every part of its process to be internet-connected, protecting the underlying infrastructure is critical. Putting the right safeguards in place is mandatory for any retailer looking to embrace these future technologies. 

Lastly, although a successful year in retail is every franchises dream. Once realizing that their system has in fact been breached, they have a moral and legal obligation to folllow legal protocol in repaorting these breaches and making proper media announcemnts to avoid future liabilty, and or litigation resulting in a massive payout. 

Source - Mark Stone Juniper Voice

Written by - Allison White, CEO Alde Security Solutions, LLC.