Retail Data Breaches continue, Consumers remain Shellshocked

Data breaches have set a new record in 2014.  After the massive Target breach where 40 million records were compromised, the latest breach at Home Depot compromised 56 million records. As the consumers had barely recovered from this shock, the news of Shellshock vulnerability came out. This vulnerability potentially affects around half of all websites on the internet (around 500 million), and millions or billions more internet-connected devices such as routers, smartphones. can be easily exploited with 2 lines of code. Companies are still trying to figure out if they are vulnerable or not. It will take weeks or even months to

We all live busy lives, have somewhat of a short term memory and tend to forget about these data breaches. Check out this infographic which captures the data breaches in recent history and shows all the major and minor breaches that you may have forgotten.

There is not a single remedy which can keep hackers at bay. But a combination of security practices can help build a multi-layer protection around the consumer data.

Techniques like encryption using PGP provide s secure and relatively inexpensive mechanism to protect data at rest. That helps protect the data even when the servers and file folders are compromised. Multi-factor authentication, secure B2B transactions and encryption of data at rest can thwart the hackers and keep critical information secure.

Days of using plain old ftp for file transfers are gone. If you are a technology laggard and still use ftp, you should switch to more secure protocols such as SFTP and seriously consider adopting a Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution for securing your enterprise file transfers.

 

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webMethods AS4 Demonstrates a New Standard for B2B Web Services Adoption

SoftwareAG has released a version of its webMethods Module for B2B document exchange that implements the new AS4 mapping standard, advancing the potential utility of web services in B2B integration.

Dave Hardman, product marketing manager for SoftwareAG, explained the importance of the advance in a recent blog:

“AS4 does what seemed previously impossible: making the adoption of web services for B2B usable,” Hardman said. He pointed out that the web services standard for B2B document payload delivery – ebXML Messaging Services, or ebMS – is so flexible as to make implementation very difficult.

AS4 constrains ebMS to essentials, he said, making it easier to leverage web services in B2B integration, providing true interoperability. “The leaner AS4 profile simplifies the usage of ebMS, making it easier to adopt web services for B2B transactions.”

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Consolidating In-House B2B Processes May Have Many Potential Benefits

It is often the case, especially in larger companies, that several B2B point solutions might be deployed to accommodate, for instance, different business units. Often, these solutions are sought at different times by different groups, with no real awareness that other solutions are already in place in-house, and with no IT coordination.

Dave Hardman, industry expert in B2B integration, recently suggested that consolidating multiple solutions can have significant benefits for the enterprise.

Increased visibility could be an immediate result of consolidation, he pointed out, as multiple B2B solutions mean multiple transaction logs. A single log makes compliance and transaction management far simpler and less costly, as well as making security easier.

Increased agility and decreased complexity are also proven products of consolidation, he continued. A single integration solution is more scalable and easier to manage overall, with single-point maintenance. The complexity of multiple upgrades, disparate platform maintenance and the proliferation of endpoints in multiple solution also imposes a complexity that is greatly reduced when a single solution is employed.

Hardman pointed out a final important benefit: reduced cost, derived from time and labor saved in reduced maintenance and support. When B2B integration needs across business units are an issue, he recommended that companies consider a single broad and highly scalable platform.

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Retailers Need Managed File Transfer(MFT) to Secure Data

Retail has an information security problem. Hundreds of retailers have been hacked in the last decade and latest reports suggest that it could be just the top of the iceberg. More than 1,000 U.S. retailers could be infected with malicious software lurking in their cash register computers, allowing hackers to steal customer financial data, the Homeland Security Department said Friday. Information security is a big challenge for any company but even more so for retail. Credit card theft wary customers may stay away from stores and impact bottom line. Earlier this year Target blamed the data breach for 46% slide in earnings.

Information security is a complex and tricky topic and one of the technologies which improves data security tremendously is Managed File Transfer(MFT). Retailers store and move quite a bit of data between stores and central IT. Additionally they have to exchange lot of data with the suppliers and other partners. Managed File Transfer (MFT) is a class of file transfer systems that use state of art security technology to centralize data transfers in a single system. This protects unauthorized access of data and limits exposure as file transfers happen through one central system. Since this central system uses state of art security and encryption to protect data both at rest and in-transit, it protects against hackers.

Managed File Transfer is finding its use in several sectors in Banking/Finance and Healthcare sectors. As more and more records become digital e.g. EHR (electronic health records), there is an increasing need to encrypt this data and protect it when it is exchanged.  Retailers need to review their security infrastructure to improve security on both ends – the Point of Sale (POS) and enterprise IT side. MFT can provide a secure backbone for enterprise data and work with secure POS systems to keep hackers at bay. Multi channel retail requires that data from each channel be secured and MFT can be the most important system in the middle that secures customer and financial data.

As customer go out and shop this labor day, hope retailers learn from the past breaches and take steps to protect shopper data.

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