When it comes to technology, many corporate retailers run into the challenge of assisting their locations with complex problems. Retail locations rely on corporate to support their network, and provide technologies and data protections. However, there are many obstacles that retailers face when it comes to best practices for network efficiencies and protections, including:
- Not having visibility into its end locations’ network infrastructure, resulting in a negative impact on the overall business processes
- Inability to manage, deploy and monitor corporate compliance initiatives
- Lack of resources to proactively monitor and respond to network or security alerts
- Difficulty migrating end locations to better technology and meet future business needs
Additionally, these issues often lead to even bigger challenges, such as poor application performance, lack of technical assistance resources and insight/knowledge needed about a location’s network infrastructure. If a retailer’s network of stores has a poor infrastructure and inadequate security, it can result in an unreliable conduit of communications, or a potential network breach; damaging the entire brand. Nuspire has found that 1 in 20 retailers have botnets that are taking up 60% of their bandwidth. When these instances occur, most often retailers don’t have the proper resources or expertise in place to find, manage and support the problem.
Retailers need to turn to new solutions to combat these challenges. These include:
Solutions for Increased Visibility
Often, corporate needs visibility into current network equipment, configurations and topology. There are solutions that provide assessments, either remote or onsite, to gather that information. This information can be aggregated and reported back to corporate to help identify gaps, inefficiencies, or uncover potential security vulnerabilities and can also be used to point out potential compliance issues with a PCI, SOX and GLBA.
After an initial assessment, retailers need ongoing visibility into a retailer’s network operations to proactively find network or security issues. Network monitoring tools, security information event management (SIEM) technologies, and automated alerting/ticketing systems provide retailers with that ongoing insight into retail operations. Additionally, systems can be leveraged to find anomalous behavior, indications of compromise, network device failures and can give the status on compliance initiatives.
To overcome challenges with network visibility, retailers need to turn to new technology to assess current infrastructures at each location. They then need technologies to gain visibility into ongoing network operations.
Often, technology solves just one problem. Managing technologies, and the output of the intelligence gathered can be a more daunting task. Even the largest organizations may not have the resources to proactively monitor, manage, and support the end locations. Organizations need solutions to help with support. Common support solutions include:
- Solutions to manage network and security monitoring tools
- Solutions to manage retail network devices
- Technical assistance solutions to provide on call support for the retailers
- Expertise available to manage alerts, tickets, and security investigations
- Support choosing, migrating, and integrating new technologies
While many organizations do not need all of these support solutions, it is common for a retailer to choose one or two to fill current gaps in their capabilities or augment current resources.
In summary, many retailers struggle because they do not have visibility into their end locations, which ultimately impacts data security, compliance, and business operations. Furthermore, many retailers need solutions to help support these technologies, the end locations, network operations, and the migration to new tech. To solve today’s retail network and security challenges, retailers need to turn to new technology and support solutions.