Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the last thing your organization can afford is a data breach or for your supply chain to come to an unexpected halt during the heaviest commercial/transactional period of the year. Sadly, headline news proves it happens all the time and retailers suffer the double punch when it does — a public relations crisis and lost sales. Not to mention fines and potential class-action lawsuits that could follow. Even the biggest brands are not immune to attacks and because of this, cybersecurity is an increasingly hot cross-functional topic, and spending in this area continues to rise.

One quick Google search and you will see the very recent announcement regarding breaches at Dunkin’ Donuts and Dell. According to Business Insider, at least 16 well-known retailers have suffered attacks and had customer data stolen since January 2017. Restaurants such as Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Chipotle, and Panera Bread have fallen prey. Fashion chains like Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue have been compromised. Even Delta, Whole Foods, and GameStop have experienced breaches. Going back even further — who wasn’t a part of Target’s breach of 2013 and remember how the CEO lost his job of 35 years over that?

And those are just a few of the ones we know about. Many more go undetected and/or unannounced. Under current security practices, the reality is that breaches are bound to happen and are so commonplace that preventative security has become a fiduciary responsibility to customers and stakeholders. In order to protect customers, stakeholders, and business practices, companies need to invest in solutions that make it harder for attackers to get in in the first place and keep up with the ever-changing nature of cybercrime. The good news is that a defense-in-depth strategy doesn’t have to be super expensive to be super effective. It just has to be smart.

Vendors are especially vulnerable because retailers have to protect so many nodes and locations that it can be difficult to safeguard everything. Add in the sheer volume of transactions during the holidays, and the margin for error becomes critically small. Cybersecurity has to be right every time, because the tireless, endless hoard of hackers only have to be right once. The best way to mitigate that risk is by defining and protecting what matters most, implementing bulletproof, defensive security measures, and optimizing networks for resiliency under pressure.

Retailers face another significant challenge in the nature of the machines that support the supply chain and manufacturing systems, namely the correct functionality of devices with minimal security settings. These low-tech machines were engineered to provide very basic functionality and were never designed with security in mind. What’s the best way to protect these legacy systems? Make communications channels and the operation of critical assets invisible to unauthorized eyes.

So, what should be done about this commercial conundrum? First, we suggest that you consider safeguarding your critical assets with Vericlave’s Solution, the most effective, easy-to-install, low-maintenance, and affordable solution on the market. Second, take a look at the below articles for simple recommendations for how to stay safe while holiday shopping.