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Security of Data: A Top Retail Initiative

Security is a focus of the utmost importance as it relates to payment methods and technology networks in today’s retail environment.  The final pillar of the Boston Retail Partner 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey is Secure.  Today, consumers expect that retailers will protect their data and ensure a safe experience. As customers are becoming more comfortable providing retailers with their personal information, retailers must take necessary steps to protect that data.

According to the BRP study, customers are likely to allow retailers to have their purchase history, personal preferences, and personal details, but 33% stated they are less likely to allow retailers to save their credit card details.  Retailers must balance gathering customer data while maintaining their trust.  Data plays a large role in developing a compelling customer experience.  It gives retailers the ability to personalize customer interactions, plan merchandise assortments, and make strategic business decisions.  While accessing customer information offers the opportunity to customize experiences, it also provides the risk for data theft and fraud.  Retailers must address data protection.  Having a strong security plan in place can ensure retailers are proactively using best practices.

Retailers are moving towards a multi-layer security plan to ensure the protection of sensitive customer data.  The first major line of defense is end-to-end encryption (E2EE), which prevents third parties from accessing data throughout the system. Only the authorized parties have access to the encryption keys.  E2EE has significantly increased over the past few years with a reported 61% of retailers utilizing this technology defense method. 

Another protective layer in retail security involves tokenization, which enables retailers to remove sensitive information from the network by substituting payment card data with a token.  38% of respondents in the study have implemented a single token across their business and 37% plan to implement within the next 3 years.

In addition, a cloud solution provides increased security and data protection in which customer and associated information will reside at a data center instead of at the store level.  STORIS’ cloud furniture retail solution is hosted in a premier data center and integrates every aspect of a business, giving retailers unique visibility into all transactional processes.  By centralizing point of sale, customer management, and inventory control, retailers gain valuable business intelligence.  At STORIS, we understand the importance of protection.

For a decade, STORIS has taken the initiative to ensure its ERP software is PA-DSS compliant.  Since release 8.8, STORIS has been listed as a validated payment application on the PCI Security Standards Council website (https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org ), working closely with a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) to fully understand security requirements. In addition to being dedicated to providing the utmost security with debit and credit card processing, STORIS understands the importance to secure Personal Identifiable Information (PII) and has focused continuous efforts in the encryption and storage of this data.

In addition, STORIS’ certification for Security Management Plan (SMP) is currently 90% completed.  The SMP was partially voluntary and implemented to ensure advanced security measures and policies are created and addressed to in all STORIS offices and for all STORIS employees and visitors.

Retailers are understanding that POS software needs to be updated regularly to keep up technology advancements, yet 30% of retailers continue to operate with POS hardware that is at least six years old.  With technology capabilities rapidly expanding and security rising in importance, guaranteeing the security of data is recommended as a top retail initiative in 2019.

Click here for complimentary access to the Boston Retail Partners 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey PDF.

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