Cloud technologies and the IoT have opened up seemingly endless possibilities for the modern retail organisation. Customers have never had as much control over purchasing decisions as they do today, with the ability to make transactions at the touch of a button for goods and services from the comfort of their own homes or on the move.

However, the customer data lying at the heart of this frictionless shopping experience presents an ever more attractive commodity to cyber criminals. Attacks are growing in number and it has been reported that in the last 12 months there have been 19 significant data breaches. This presents a major problem for both retailers and customers.

Cloud technologies and the IoT have opened up seemingly endless possibilities for the modern retail organisation

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. With GDPR related fines from the ICO now as much as €20m or 4% of an organisation’s global annual turnover, whichever is higher, the resulting combination of the cost of the breach itself, reputational erosion and any crippling fines can be devastating. It is therefore essential that retailers are aware of the steps and procedures they should be following to ensure full data compliance and to guarantee the integrity of their IT infrastructure.

Ensuring full GDPR compliance

It’s vital to ensure that everyone understands the security implications and knows how to respond effectively in the event of a breach. Internally, all teams and departments should have the confidence to raise the alert if a breach is suspected. Externally, companies should look to encourage conversations across the entire supply chain to ensure requirements are effectively met and security risks are adequately addressed.

It is a requirement of the GDPR that the necessary steps be taken to guard against attack and protect existing software and systems

It is a requirement of the GDPR that the necessary steps be taken to guard against attack and protect existing software and systems. Effective cybersecurity lifecycle management of IoT devices, such as network video surveillance cameras, is an example of a measure which should be put in place to help prevent such devices from being compromised, mitigating risk and ultimately maintaining customer trust. Establishing a truly secure retail solution can only be accomplished if security has been analysed at every stage.

Evolving physical systems

For protection of the physical retail environment, the move away from legacy security solutions such as traditional CCTV, which typically sat outside of a company’s IT operation, to the modern cloud-enabled security technologies we see today, allows retailers to unlock a wealth of business benefits previously impossible with analogue technologies. Today’s systems provide far greater accuracy of detection, vastly improved image quality, even in low light, and an array of business intelligence options to aid operations, such as people counting, queue monitoring and stock control.

Protecting the physical security of the retail environment

The ability to create live security alerts as well as forensic evidence for later analysis allows security teams to be proactive rather than reactive. In addition, the growing use of edge capabilities to process data within the cameras themselves negates the additional time and potential lag associated with continually passing surveillance information back and forward to servers, streamlining and therefore vastly improving operations.

System vulnerabilities equals vulnerable data

For network cameras being introduced onto an IT network, it’s essential to ensure that they do not become compromised and used as a backdoor to gain entrance to a business’s innermost workings and most valuable commodity; its data. The importance of guarding against system vulnerabilities cannot be ignored and it is therefore vital to ensure that all installed technologies are Secure by Default; built from the ground up with cybersecurity considerations at the forefront, to strengthen system security. In addition, software updates and firmware upgrades will keep the devices protected in line with the evolving threat landscape.

The importance of guarding against system vulnerabilities cannot be ignored

Forging and maintaining relationships with stakeholders is key to establishing a healthy supply chain built on mutual trust and respect. Only by following such an approach can the integrity of systems be fully guaranteed, with trusted vendors and installers working together to ensure that ethical practices are followed, and cybersecurity principles are adhered to. Due diligence should be carried out to make sure that all stakeholders involved in the manufacture, supply and installation of security software and systems understand the importance of keeping security best practice at the forefront of everything they do.

Addressing the ongoing challenge

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. By following procedures around the cybersecurity of IoT devices, and realising the importance of implementing high quality products and services through relationships with trusted vendors and partners, retailers will benefit from connected physical security systems that deliver on the promise of better protection of the business and customer, to effectively mitigate the mounting cyber security threat.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

Author profile

Steven Kenny Industry Liaison, Architecture & Engineering at Axis Communications, Axis Communications

In case you missed it

How intelligent video surveillance supports smart mobility
How intelligent video surveillance supports smart mobility

The ease of getting from point A to point B, the effective movement of goods and services, and the flexibility and integration of various modes of transportation are key aspects of mobility today. Smart Mobility has been a key theme in the transportation industry for a while. The idea is to keep traffic flowing and help people to get where they need to be, in a smarter way. To this end, industry players are now innovating and introducing advanced technologies and solutions. Examples include intelligent traffic management systems, free-flow tolls, autonomous driving, smart location solutions, and more. At the same time, traffic congestion, aging infrastructure, rapid urbanisation, and increasing sustainability demands are also intensifying the need for smart mobility solutions. One way to overcome these obstacles is to use intelligent video surveillance technology for improved traffic management, making the roads safer and more efficient for every user, while also reducing emissions. Perceptive intersections Relying on intelligent video analytics, traffic video cameras identify traffic build ups at intersections by counting numbers of vehicles crossing an intersection and detecting their speed, while also counting the number of vehicles queueing in real-time. Aggregated data informs the system when to switch traffic lights to red or green. Intelligent optimisation for traffic signals ensures more effective traffic flow.Aggregated data informs the system when to switch traffic lights to red or green The benefits? Improved safety on the roadways; intersection reconstruction can be avoided; drivers can be advised about the speed of their route, forecasted by traffic signals; reduced wait times and stress for commuters; reduction of harmful emissions; and positive impact on public satisfaction. Road safety Traffic incidents can be disastrous, not merely for causing congestion on the roads but sometimes far worse – resulting in injuries and even fatalities. These incidents have many causes, not the least of which is drivers willfully violating traffic laws. Video technology can aid in detecting all kinds of events – for example, illegal parking, running a red light, wrong-way driving, speeding, and making illegal U-turns can all be detected by smart camera technology. By using deep learning technology, cameras can recognise these events and traffic authorities can be immediately notified and take necessary actions even before traffic incidents occur. Scenarios include stopping a driver who is occupying an emergency lane, or notifying a driver who parked their car illegally. Furthermore, ticketing systems can be incorporated to further regulate driving behaviors. Benefits here include incident prevention, better driver performance, and increased safety on the roads and streets, to name just a few. Scenarios include stopping a driver who is occupying an emergency lane, or notifying a driver who parked their car illegally Public information Sharing information is key to keeping city drivers and travelers informed. Intelligent communication about warnings and updates helps everyone save time, avoid frustration, and simplify everyday mobility. This can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locationsThis can be done via traffic guidance screens displayed at highly visible locations, such as congested areas, transportation hubs, shopping malls, and city plazas – or even at your fingertips on your favorite mobile apps! Traffic video cameras generate real-time data of traffic flow and incidents, sending it to a central platform to further fuse with data from third-party systems such as radar and GPS systems. They also disseminate traffic information, including traffic status, warning and advisory notices, as well as parking status.  The benefits are improved public awareness of traffic information, improved travel convenience, overall enhancement of mobility in the city, and more. The Hikvision practice Hikvision has accumulated sophisticated experience in traffic management both at home and abroad. Product lines offer versatile solutions to resolve multitudes of problems in urban traffic management, traffic incident management, highway management, and more. Going deeper, it’s essential to note that efficient signal control management is dependent on the quality of traffic data, system algorithms, and the hardware devices in use; it is also closely related to the mobile environment, such as road conditions, historical traffic conditions, and urban infrastructure. Because of this, no single solution solves traffic congestion everywhere. Hikvision believes that only by working closely with city authorities, public safety organisations, consultants, even academia and other relevant stakeholders, can applications and operational processes be developed to achieve the best possible outcomes. The possibilities for traffic video data are endless, especially now that it can employ artificial intelligence for advanced functionality. Harnessing its power will make all the difference, but the ultimate goal remains the same: safe and smooth traffic, smart mobility, and improved quality of human life.

What impact are data analytics having on security?
What impact are data analytics having on security?

We live in an era of Big Data. Surrounded by a flood of information, more companies are looking for ways to analyse that information (data) and systematically extract information that can help them operate more efficiently and profitably. The data obsession has extended to the physical security industry, too, where large amounts of data have historically been a little-used byproduct of our access control and even video systems. But the picture is changing. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact are data analytics having on the security market?

Embracing digital transformation in the security industry
Embracing digital transformation in the security industry

Many industries are, to a greater or lesser extent, in the throes of digital transformation. As with any change programme, digital transformation efforts often under-perform against expectations. Yet, the number of digital transformation programmes continue to increase, as commercial pressures intensify. As security professionals we need to embrace our role in digital transformation, as security is everybody’s business. For all those people weary of hearing about digital transformation and believe it’s a business fad, consider your own behaviours. If you use a smartphone to search, find, order, buy, message, watch, learn, play, bank, pay, enter, exit, navigate, communicate and more then you are part of the reason that digital transformation is a commercial necessity. The way we live our lives has changed significantly over the past twenty years and this needs to be reflected into how we rethink the way we do business. Digital transformation is about more than technology, it allows people to solve their traditional problems in new and better ways than before. Better can mean faster, at lower cost, using fewer resources, easier to maintain, more compliant and/or easier to report insights. IoT, criminal activity and security  The number of internet connected devices worldwide is increasing at an exponential rate; by the end of 2025 there are expected to be 75.44 billion. Internet of Things (IoT) means digital transformation converges physical and digital for security professionals. Criminals use smarter digital tools such as malware, drones, key cloners, signal readers and more, which impact both physical and cybersecurity. To counter this, digital transformation provides security professionals with access As security professionals we need to embrace our role in digital transformation, as security is everybody’s businessto valuable actionable insights to identify and deter threats to people and assets. All transformation starts with an idea generated by people and ends with people experiencing the output. Therefore, digital transformation starts and ends with people. To ensure a solid foundation to any digital transformation agenda, people need to have a clear purpose to engage. This is where security leaders can inspire their colleagues with a laudable purpose of embracing disruption at the same time as focusing on safeguarding people and assets. Non-security colleagues should understand that security risks are advancing at a faster pace than enterprises can adapt. As a security leader, you are advocating a movement where your colleagues adopt relevant enterprise security risk management practices in their daily thinking and working. The message is clear that digital transformation presents abundant opportunities and these need to be evaluated alongside the proliferating security threats that can become a business continuity failure. Security professionals and digital influence  The number of internet connected devices worldwide is increasing at an exponential rate; by the end of 2025 there are expected to be 75.44 billionSecurity professionals can influence digital transformation success by translating an enterprise’s strategy into secure operational reality. The security narrative should emphasise the people side of digital transformation and how technology can act as an enabler of a safe and secure experience, both for employees and customers. Operationally, digital transformation is about agility, adaptability and navigating uncertainty. Old ways of thinking and working will be blockers to transformation, so security leaders ought to identify the rapid enablers of a ‘secure’ digital transformation. Better people, processes and overall technology People generally don’t want more in their lives, they want better. Better people. Better data. Better technology. Better processes. Digital transformation creates significant ‘better’ benefits for security: For example, connected (IoT) sensors, video analytics at the edge and machine learning identify threats faster; workflow technologies and automation detect, investigate and remediate routine responses; cloud provides many benefits such as agility, scale and mobility; and, smartphones/digital devices provide real-time communication and collaboration. Tackling all the ‘better’ needs within a security approach is necessary – focusing on the prioritised commercial needs first. Think about how to drive radical simplification into digital transformation agendas to ensure complexity doesn’t create too many unmanageable risks. Designing enterprise security risk management into the business operating model will facilitate colleagues to be empowered for safe and secure change. Communicating security successes and breaches with commercial impact insights in a timely and concise manner across the enterprise will prove the value of active security engagement throughout digital transformation programmes. Transforming the world Digital technology is transforming the world around us, in a way that impacts every area of security. Security professionals are now businesspeople and technologists, in addition to their traditional security remits. Embracing this impacts security recruitment, training and employee engagement, within the security team and with non-security colleagues. Without a doubt, security professionals are integral to digital transformation programmes.