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Holiday season brings out shoppers — and hackers


Everyone across the retail industry is preparing for the holiday shopping season — especially the hackers.

Shoppers will continue to use more payment methods — from debit and credit to mobile wallets — during the hectic holiday shopping season, and hackers are standing at the ready. Whether infiltrating in-store peripherals, firewalls or databases, hackers are prepared to invade retail networks, disrupt systems and steal valuable information.

The following checklist found in “Checkin’ the List Way More Than Twice,” an e-book from Level 3 Communications, can help retailers protect themselves from cyber-crime during the holidays and beyond:

Add threat intelligence and monitoring systems. Increasingly digital retail business models require highly distributed end-points that span kiosks, in-store Wi-Fi, mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) and the prevalence of IoT devices. These are also opportunities for hackers to gain access to a vulnerable enterprise. Intelligence and monitoring solutions collect, organize, and analyze potential threats information quickly.

Adopt enhanced network visibility solutions. With more data flowing across networks, and more users — both internal as well as third-party partners— gaining access to this valuable data, visibility solutions are paramount to understanding the traffic moving across enterprise networks. They also uncover anomalies that could be disruptive or dangerous.

Use actionable threat intelligence tools. With more than 65,000 transmission control protocol (TCP) ports in a single firewall, retailers need a way to stay one step ahead of menacing cyber-criminals. Actionable threat intelligence solutions can help, as they track two-way communications to identify suspicious and malicious network activity — a move that helps retailers quickly respond to threats.

Retailers that insist on implementing the latest in-store technologies and digital engagements “at the expense of security is a strategy for failure,” said Chris Richter, senior VP global security services, Level 3. “This holiday season – more than any other – it’s critical for retailers to implement a robust, integrated security strategy across the entire omnichannel.”
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