November is Retail Privacy Month
One of the most common retail cybersecurity trends involves cloud computing. Businesses of all types are relying more and more on the cloud for storing, processing, and managing data. The benefit is that end-users don’t have to rely on a local server but can access a network of remote servers for data. And the security, maintenance, and data availability are all on the cloud service provider.
Benefits of real-time cloud access include:
- Mobile commerce
- Connected POS systems
- Easy access to customer resource management (CRM) information
- Inventory analysis
- Streamlined processes
While there are many benefits to using the cloud, it may also create new attack surfaces for cybercriminals to access, particularly for data breaches. Additionally, many organizations want to use legacy equipment that isn’t sufficiently secured, which can make the cloud even more vulnerable. Avoiding this growing retail cybersecurity threat is going to continue to be a major focus for IT teams and doing so requires software and security that can handle cloud technology efficiently and effectively.
Most cloud services have integrated security systems to protect sensitive information and transactions, preventing the third party from eavesdropping or tampering with data being transmitted. In addition, to entice customers, many CSPs review their security programs using a third-party independent auditor and the most reputable CSPs have a better security posture than their customers. The security benefits of cloud-based systems include:
- Firewalls: These protect the perimeter of your network security and your end-users. They also safeguard traffic between different apps stored in the cloud.
- Threat intelligence: This is smart technology that spots security threats and ranks them in order of importance.
- Data masking: This encrypts identifiable information, such as names. It helps to maintain integrity by keeping certain information private, making breaches less impactful if they are likely to occur.
- Access controls: These protect data by allowing you to set access lists for different assets. Many retailers only allow specific employees to access certain files. This means that only certain people will be able to access certain information, and you can keep a better track of any breaches to prevent confidential data from being leaked.
- Disaster recovery: In the case of lost or stolen information, this is key. It helps to recover the information.
Using a cloud-based system will also ensure you have the best software – which might be updated automatically. Keeping all confidential data in one place is essential to tight-knit cybersecurity that keeps scammers and hackers at bay.
Real-time cloud access, including back office (such as Gsuite or Microsoft 365) has proven to be a very handy tool during the pandemic. Employees can work from anywhere and still access and share files.
However, the regular employees do not understand the settings and the intent behind every tool offered by cloud providers. This is the reason why the decision about the secure use of such CSPs needs to be made by information security professionals in consultation with privacy professionals. The IT team needs to facilitate the requirements from both the business and the security/privacy teams. The organization needs to understand their own security and compliance requirements and match them with those offered by the CSP, to ensure their security & privacy postures are not compromised through the use of a wrong tool, configured in a non-secure way.
At Managed Privacy Canada, we have the expertise, experience and we have developed best practices and documentation to support retailers to thrive.
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