Today is Black Friday. Many retail stores in North American have customers lining up outside for hours to get the best deals. In 2015, 74.2 million people shopped on this day for your great deals! And around 30% of annual retail sales happen during the Black Friday through Boxing Day season, according to the National Retail Federation. With all this excitement of dropping prices and advertising to invite consumers to your stores, you are also potentially inviting cyber criminals that have been waiting for an opportunity to get information on your consumer data. It was just 3 years ago that one of the biggest data breaches occurred when the credit/debit-cards of 110 million Target customers were compromised. Breaches like this are a retailer’s worst nightmare, as they not only results in great costs to the corporation financially, but can tarnish the brand image as well, making consumers weary of shopping in your stores.
So there is no better time to offer our tips on how to stay secure this weekend:
- Partner with a Security Expert. In a lot of cases the organization is lacking the necessary talent, skills and budget to properly address security in-house. So partner up with a data security vendor that is equipped to ensure proper security measures are taken.
- Know where you Data Resides. Identify where your business is being conducted, identify data at rest, and locate data in transit that way you can work toward better securing your customer data.
- Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt! The best form of data security is data that is encrypted, so make sure to put a Data Encryption Policy in place. So, if a cybercriminal ever got their hands on it, that data is rendered useless.
- Keep up to date with Payment Technology. Look into EMV Cards – these credit cards are smart cards that have chips that store their data on integrated circuits, rather than magnetic stripes. They are designed to prevent fraudulent transactions.
- Audit your Systems for Vulnerabilities. Evaluating your POS systems and providing workshops to educate your employees is not enough. You need to consider your organization’s Risk Management Profile. For each of your systems, you should look at how those systems are vulnerable and the probability that a threat agent will capitalize on those vulnerabilities.
If you are looking to safeguard your company’s most valuable asset – your data, Contact WinMagic or take a look at our eBook Five Observations of Retail Data Breaches.