As retailers integrate their digital and physical shopping experiences to future-proof their business models, it’s never been more important to be aware of the cybersecurity vulnerabilities that can be created by digital transformation. As cybersecurity awareness month becomes a focus of discussion in October, Interface Systems, a managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS, and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, shares best practices on how to prevent retail cyber-attacks and mitigate fraud.
Retail chains face a variety of security challenges, from connected POS systems and devices to online ordering and delivery applications. Retailers’ data lakes, which combine their customers’ data with credit card information, make them particularly attractive targets for cybercriminals. The consequences of security lapses go beyond legal issues and often result in significant financial loss as customers lose confidence in the brand.
Securing the Point of Sale
POS applications are directly connected to credit card data, loyalty management applications, and inventory management systems. They are easily accessible, and retailers often struggle to manage the sheer number of in-store terminals, self-service kiosks, and mobile payment devices. To secure their POS, retailers need to:
- Encrypt all POS data end-to-end
- Accept EMV chip cards and NFC (contactless payment) technologies
- Whitelist applications to run on a POS system
- Keep their POS software up to date
- Address PCI-DSS compliance gaps proactively
- Segment the POS network
- Physically secure POS devices including mobile POS devices
- Watch out for unusual transactions
- Integrate security cameras with POS transactions
Securing Cloud-Based Applications
Retailers are leading the way in cloud adoption and security breaches in cloud applications can have devastating repercussions for retailers. According to the 2022 IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach in retail in 2022 is $3.28 million. To protect their cloud-based applications, retailers need to:
- Adopt a zero-trust security model to help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.
- Protect sensitive data in cloud environments using policy and encryption.
- Invest in security orchestration and automation of response (SOAR) and extended detection and response (XDR) to help improve detection and response times.
- Understand the scope of cloud service provider security responsibilities.
- Organize ongoing security awareness training for all employees.
Protecting Against Loyalty Programs Fraud
While loyalty programs have evolved in the last decade, they have to deal with a variety of sophisticated cyberattacks and scams. The key to stopping loyalty program fraud is to implement multiple layers of protection:
- Implement a robust data analytics system to flag suspicious transactions.
- Enforce password policies and encourage multifactor authentication.
- Limit the personal data needed to enroll in the rewards program.
- Regulate access to loyalty management systems and implement a zero-trust security framework.
Choosing the Right Partner
Interface’s managed network services and PCI compliance program can help retail chains proactively address cybersecurity threats and accelerate digital transformation. Interface handles design, implementation, and maintenance for all network, security, and business intelligence services allowing retail chains to improve security, eliminate operational complexity, and focus on innovation.
Click here to view a comprehensive blog about how digital transformation can open doors for retail cybersecurity attacks.