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Three (Network Security) Roadblocks to Achieving Retail Success

roadblockAs we coast into the Nation Retail Federation’s (NRF) big annual show in New York City next week businesses of all types face the daunting task of securing their business network from outside threats. Perhaps it’s fitting that online retailers in particular are concerned with the growing number of advanced persistent threats that are poised to make 2013 a potentially busy year in data loss prevention.

So with the NRF just around the corner, here are three network security roadblocks that threaten the success of online retail organizations of all types:

      1. Giving all employees access to the same websites and applications. While it might seem like the fair, and certainly easy, thing to do is to allow all employees at all levels access to the Internet carte blanche, it can expose your company network to unnecessary risk. Part of IT security’s job is to balance the threat management with risk management, and this means determining which employees need access to what in order to effectively and efficiently do their job. Interview employees and departments and set up policies that allow you to manage Internet and application access control.
      2. Only focusing on ingress and not egress. Monitoring inbound Internet traffic is certainly critical for data security protection, but with drive-by downloads and increased redirection capabilities hackers can easily manipulate your outbound traffic to gain network access. We recommend road blocking your business to all outbound traffic as a starting point. Then add back in ports 443 and 80 so you have some web based capabilities and then add back DNS traffic so you have some name resolution. While not an easy thing to do, tools like our ReputationAuthority – part of our XTM network security solution – can make this task easier to manage.
      3. Not updating security to account for server virtualization. Virtualizing your IT infrastructure can be a great thing; it saves time in provisioning, saves money in hardware requirements and cooling, and provides IT scalability. But as Neil MacDonald at Gartner says, “Unless you put virtualized security controls – virtual sniffers, virtual firewalls, all the same controls you’d use on a physical server – inside that network, you don’t see what’s going on.” In fact, 84 percent of our customers are proceeding slower than they’d like into virtualization simply because of the security concern. Make sure you consider virtualization security solutions as part of your overall network security plan.

There are many other roadblocks that can hinder growth and expose data, and we’ll certainly be blogging about them in the days and weeks ahead, but these three are certainly important and worth consideration. For online retailers, customer data security is the foundation for success.

If you’re at the NRF Show in New York, swing by booth # 1681 and say hello. We’d love to see you!

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