APCON on Information Security and Holiday Shopping

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According to the National Retail Federation- more than 174 million consumers shopped during Thanksgiving weekend. Over this five day period, consumers spent an average of $335.47 with 75% of that geared towards gifts. The largest spenders were Millennials with an average of $419.52 per shopper.

Consumer shopping patterns and habits have many variables. Perhaps the most important variable in 2017 is where this shopping takes place. Did it take place in brick and mortar stores or online? The answer is both-the National Retail Federation’s annual survey found that over 51 million shopped in stores only and over 58 million shopped only online. Because holiday shopping is taking place in person & online it is important not to underestimate the security risks of both.

Security Risks:

According to Adobe Inc.’s Adobe Digital Index, Cyber Monday 2017 set a record as the largest online sales day ever, with $6.59 billion in sales. Mobile revenue on that Monday generated $1.59 billion. More consumers shopping online at peak times, also means more data running through company networks. This data includes information such as credit card numbers, shopping habits, etc.

When shopping in a store, the risks are still great. This year alone the following stores have experienced some form of a data breach that affected physical locations (according to Identity Force):

  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Kmart
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Forever 21

The majority of these breaches involved a malicious software being installed in credit card terminals or customer information being exposed on the dark net.

Why Is Visibility Increasingly Important?

Over peak shopping periods such as Thanksgiving and the month of December, a network is likely to see a significant spike in traffic-roughly four to five times the usual amount, according to Digital List Magazine. If your monitoring tools have complete visibility over your network, are receiving only the traffic of interest and are not overwhelmed with data then you can sort through the traffic to determine any malicious activity and securely support any sensitive information being transmitted. This is the same no matter where the shopping takes places.

How APCON Customers Combat the Holiday Season:

APCON customers handle the holiday season challenge by accomplishing full network visibility and architecture monitoring that enhances security.

APCON is dedicated to working with customers, technology, and channel partners to deliver reliable customer experiences. Check out APCON’s IntellaFlex XR network visibility and security solutions or IntellaTap-VM for magnified visibility in VMware environments. APCON’s traffic visibility technology is scalable, high capacity, reliable with advanced features that increase NPM, APM and security tool efficiency and lower the overall costs of enterprise monitoring. And when you are not in the office - spending time with family or doing what you love - APCON’s Mobile App provides real-time status and alerts to provide technical staff a complete bird’s eye view into their monitoring system at all times.

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