White Paper highlights overriding need for greater cyber security in retail sector

Axis Communications has published its latest White Paper entitled ‘Cyber Security: The Biggest Threat to Retail’ which highlights the increasing threat posed by cyber attacks to today’s retail industry. The White Paper documents the measures that should be understood by data controllers, loss prevention and security personnel through to heads of operations to ensure the highest levels of security and provide the appropriate education and training for all key stakeholders to effectively mitigate the mounting cyber security threat. 

The growth in and use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and cloud technologies has opened up boundless possibilities for the modern retail organisation across physical and digital platforms. However, customer data is at the heart of a frictionless shopping experience and presents an attractive commodity to cyber criminals, with attacks growing in numbers on those retailers whose systems are inadequately secured.

Indeed, it has been reported that in the last 12 months that there have been 19 significant data breaches.

In addition to the immediate disruption and downtime a breach can cause, the damage to the reputation of a business or brand can be lifelong. Furthermore, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)-related fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office can now be as much as €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is higher, and demands that necessary steps be taken to guard against attack and protect existing infrastructure.

Enhanced security management

Axis Communications’ White Paper creates awareness of the challenges being faced and looks at how effective cyber security lifecycle management of IoT devices will help practising professionals to better manage security and, ultimately, maintain customer trust.

“Any organisation that generates or manages personally identifiable information, which is effectively any data that could potentially identify a specific individual, must comply with the GDPR,” observed Steven Kenny, industry liaison for architecture and engineering at Axis Communications. “Establishing a truly secure retail solution can only be accomplished if security has been analysed at every stage. The key is to ensure that everyone involved understands the security implications of a breach and how to prevent one. Collaboration with system vendors, integrators and installers is also hugely important. Conversations across the supply chain will ensure requirements are met and that security risks are adequately addressed.”

Alongside greater awareness of the need to comply with the GDPR, the Axis Communications White Paper stresses the importance of looking to guard against system vulnerabilities by working with trusted vendors who can install only those security technologies deemed to be Secure by Default. These technologies have been built from the ground up with cyber security considerations at the forefront.

Technologies that are cyber secure offer peace of mind when connected to a network and come with assurances that stringent guidelines are followed during the design and manufacturing process. Surveillance camera technology designed and manufactured in this way assures retailers that these security solutions will not be used as a backdoor into the network.

Key points covered

*Review of cyber security challenges – Supply chain attacks, IoT vulnerabilities, the impact of operational downtime

*GDPR, data protection and privacy – Examining the necessary actions to ensure full compliance with the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018

*Video surveillance insights – Understanding how data analysis can inform security and business decisions and supply chain evaluation

*Managing security effectively – Processes and tools to help the design, development and testing of systems in accordance with cyber security principles

*Converged security – A collaborative approach to addressing cyber security risks

“The retail industry is deemed the most at risk to cyber threats,” commented Graham Swallow, retail segment lead for Northern Europe at Axis Communications. “It’s crucial to find the balance between enhancing the customer experience and maintaining GDPR compliance, all the while providing adequate security while not violating customer privacy. While video surveillance systems are a necessity within the retail environment, many organisations have re-evaluated their entire strategy in order to ensure full GDPR compliance. Retailers must be able to rely on technologies that support their operational requirements and address associated risks, while at the same time supporting IT security policies.”

The White Paper provides retailers with expert guidance, highlighting the appropriate policies and procedures around the cyber security of IoT devices, and reinforces the importance of selecting trusted vendors and partners.

*Download your copy of ‘Cyber Security: The Biggest Threat to Retail’

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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