5 Smart and Quick Security Tips for Enterprise Retail Businesses
For Enterprise Businesses in Retail, cyber security should be at the front and center of any good digital strategy. Compromising data, costing money and worst of all, causing them to miss out on valuable retail business opportunities. To help out, we’ve put together some essential security tips for Enterprise businesses in retail:
1. Improve your password hygiene
Most cyber attacks exploit the most vulnerable part of your technology: The human using it. In its simplest form, ‘hacking’ will involve trying a list of the most common passwords for secure business logins. This might seem ludicrously low tech, until you learn that two of the most common passwords used in 2021 are ‘123456’ and ‘password’. To opportunistic criminals, this is like leaving your front door open when you leave the house. Strong, unique passwords for all your business-critical applications and accounts are essential - no excuses. The big department stores will be on the look out and would be a target.
What to do next: Perform a password audit for you and your team and change any obvious or duplicate codes. There are plenty of secure password generators available online and tools like Apple Keychain and Google Chrome will even remember and store them securely.
2. Keep on Top of Point of Sale (POS)
Point of sale (POS) systems often utilize an abundance of external hardware, software, and cloud-based components. Exploiting a vulnerability in the software used on POS devices (or even in the back-end cloud services) could allow a cybercriminal to deploy malware on the POS device. This would further enable them to harvest financial data, inflict a malware attack such as ransomware. Cyber-attacks' effects on retailers may include hefty fines, penalties, data loss, financial losses, and reputational damage. According to Terranovasecurity.com, “In the wake of the 2013 Target breach—one that cost the U.S. retail giant $18.5 million in a multistate court settlement—U.S. retailers aggressively moved to implement the EMV® payment system that uses credit and debit cards with embedded chips requiring a PIN or signature to complete the transaction.” Online enterprise business retailers can’t utilise the added layers of security that come with those types of cards. Instead, it’s essential that they take advantage of multi-factor authentication (MFA) options at their disposal to prevent fraudulent activity.
What to do next: Cyber security best practices like routinely auditing loosely staffed payment terminals at self-checkouts, is key. This practice helps ensure skimmers haven’t been attached to capture sensitive consumer information like PIN numbers or account details. It’s also a good idea to regularly check your in store Wi-Fi access point and network for rogue devices that a bad actor may have installed. Use multi-factor authentication for transactions especially for Point of Sale (POS).
3. Use a VPN for flexible working
Thanks to a global pandemic there has been an increase in online shopping as well as physical locations. Retailers are using more internet of things and more devices are regularly connecting to public networks that don’t have the same level of protection as their enterprise business retail counterparts. VPNs present a simple solution for businesses who want to share secure data from home. By using an encryption process, data sent through an unsecured network using a VPN is much harder for an attacker to access, which in turn means you and your people can work and collaborate from almost anywhere securely. It doesn’t cost the earth either; VPN subscriptions are worth paying for to protect the retail business.
What to do next: Take stock of who’s working flexibly for your retail business. Once you know what kind of protection you’ll need, you can pick a VPN that will suit your requirements and budget.
4. Consider and make sure to have a well-defined recovery plan
Even if you take all these precautions, it’s possible that a cyber-attack can slip through the cracks. To avoid chaos and permanent data loss, ensure that your organisation has a well-defined, ready to execute recovery plan in place. This type of strategy includes data backup and system reset details, as well as alignment with internet or hosting service providers.
What to do next: Be sure to train staff on the guide to cyber security in retail enterprise and on trends. Retailer staff and managers keeping up to date with this knowledge should help guide your decision-making process.
5. Keep up staff up to date with retail enterprise cyber security trends and best practices
Unprepared retail employees are unable to consistently detect and avoid cyber threats and, as a result, are more likely to fall victim to phishing schemes. They may also be more susceptible to having equipment stolen or compromised due to preventable behavior. Retail Enterprise organizations that implement risk-based security awareness training programs can motivate employees to adopt a cyber secure mindset and enhance information security initiatives instead of lack of knowledge.
What to do next: Make a habit of training retail staff on security training programs and to check up on security news for information about the latest cyber security trends. Be proactive in ensuring you’re prepared to deal with potential threats.
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