As retailers integrate their digital and physical shopping experiences to future-proof their business models, it has never been more important to be aware of the cybersecurity vulnerabilities that can be created by digital transformation. As Cybersecurity Awareness Month becomes a talking point in October, Interface Systems, a managed service provider providing enterprise security, managed network, UCaaS and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, shares best practices on how to prevent cyberattacks and mitigate fraud. .
Retail chains face a variety of security challenges, from connected point-of-sale 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 breaches go beyond legal issues and often result in significant financial losses as customers lose trust 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 large number of in-store terminals, self-service kiosks and mobile payment devices. To secure their point of sale, merchants must:
- Encrypt all POS data end-to-end
- Accepts EMV smart cards and NFC technologies (contactless payment)
- Whitelist applications to run on a POS system
- Keep their point of sale software up to date
- Proactively address PCI-DSS compliance gaps
- Segment the point of sale network
- Physically secure POS devices, including mobile POS devices
- Beware of unusual transactions
- Integrate security cameras into POS transactions
Securing cloud-based applications
Retailers are leading the way in cloud adoption and security breaches in cloud applications can have devastating implications for retailers. According to IBM’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a retail data breach in 2022 is $3.28 million. To protect their cloud-based applications, retailers should:
- Adopt a zero-trust security model to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.
- Protect sensitive data in cloud environments using policies and encryption.
- Invest in security orchestration and response automation (SOAR) and extended detection and response (XDR) to help improve detection and response times.
- Understand the cloud service provider’s scope of security responsibilities.
- Conduct ongoing security awareness training for all employees.
Loyalty Program Fraud Protection
Although loyalty programs have evolved over the past decade, they face a variety of sophisticated cyberattacks and scams. The key to stopping loyalty program fraud is to put several layers of protection in place:
- Implement a robust data analysis system to flag suspicious transactions.
- Enforce password policies and encourage multi-factor authentication.
- Limit the personal data needed to register for the rewards program.
- Regulate access to loyalty management systems and implement a zero-trust security framework.
Choose 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 manages the design, implementation and maintenance of all network, security and business intelligence services enabling supply chains to improve security, eliminate operational complexity and focus on the innovation.
Click here to view a full blog on how digital transformation can open doors to cybersecurity attacks in retail.