In Depth: Black Friday & Cyber Monday Data Security

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021 loom large in the minds of retailers and consumers alike. For consumers, these two unofficial “holidays” signal the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, and offer the promise of scoring big deals on wish list gifts. For retailers, the two days serve as key markers for whether their business will be put into the black – i.e., be profitable this year. 

While the popularity of online shopping has been growing exponentially over the past decade, this year, like last year, Cyber Monday has taken on an increasingly critical role for shoppers and retailers alike. This is especially true in the face of the continuing global pandemic and the fear that 2021 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales may present them with another disappointing year given the still struggling economy. Consequently, there isn’t room for even the smallest of mistakes — certainly not one that will take their on-prem and/or online systems down for any period of time and send their customers to the nearest competitor. 

I got some commentary from Don Boxley, CEO and Co-Founder of DH2i on this topic:

Data and systems uptime, availability and security will play crucial roles in determining the success or failure of Black Friday and Cyber Monday for retailers in 2021. This is because consumers are savvier than ever and know that should your onsite or online systems go down, your nearest competitor is only a few steps or clicks away. And unfortunately, this exodus may be permanent. Especially if the security of customer data, or PII, was compromised.

On Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all year long, retailers must deploy smart availability solutions that offer far more capability than just combatting unplanned outages. The ideal high availability (HA) solution must deliver an all-inclusive approach for optimization of the retailer’s entire environment. It must ensure both planned and unplanned downtime is kept to near zero, while improving (not complicating as some solutions do) the management experience and lowering overall HA expense. Likewise, retailers must free themselves from outdated and highly vulnerable security solutions — like VPNS, and instead employ a modern data security approach — like a software defined perimeter (SDP). SDP provides users with application-level segmentation versus access to the entire network. In doing so, the overall potential attack surface is minimized, a Zero Trust implementation can be achieved, and the greatest possible level of data security can be ensured.

With data and systems uptime, availability and security assured, retail IT executives can refocus their time and energy instead on activities that ensure optimum customer and employee experiences, increased sales, and a boost to the bottom-line.

Hopefully retailers take this advice to make sure that they have a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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