How Retailers & Restaurants Focused on Customer Experience Ease the Burden of Security and Compliance

October 11th, 2018 11:51 pm


When it comes to retail and restaurant operators, it’s clear the top players are the ones that use cutting-edge technologies to drive a differentiated customer experience. The most successful retail stores and restaurants build experiences that are personalized to each customer, address their needs, and apply a positive influence at each and every touchpoint – from digital to physical.

In order to craft these highly personalized touches, businesses use technology to collect data on customer interests and preferences, as well as personal information.  Tracking browsing behavior on web and mobile sites help to tailor messaging and promotions, personal information such as birthdays and anniversaries are key to loyalty programs, and stored payment information creates a seamless experience for purchases through any and every channel.  With all of the sensitive consumer data being collected, it makes sense that the retailers and restaurants focusing on customer experiences also concentrate much of their attention on security. Each year, millions of outlets process billions of transactions containing cardholder data and other personally identifiable information that flourishes in our age of big data and customer analytics.

On top of that, the areas vulnerable to attack are expanding as businesses live in a perimeter-less technology world driven by multi-cloud, mobile-first solutions. Of the top retail and restaurant trends for 2018, security controls have been prioritized in an effort to further protect consumer information. Unfortunately, security is often an afterthought – if addressed at all – in many technical applications. In the past, adding security meant increased costs and complexity and, often, a downgraded quality of experience. However, the latest in SD-WAN technology is quickly changing the game when it comes to security.

Security is embedded in the fabric of a well-designed SD-WAN solution, reducing both cost and complexity while preserving – and in some cases, enhancing – the quality of customer experience. When security is embedded in the fabric, user experience, security, and affordability are balanced with a best-practices approach that combines micro-segmentation, defense in depth, and continuous network monitoring. These critical elements become even more important when deployment involves multiple sites.

Micro-segmentation places each application into a separate virtual application network to prevent traffic from mingling, defending against a lateral breach.

Defense in depth combines best practices with multiple layers of renowned security technologies such as VPN, IDS/IPS, firewalls, and multi-factor authentication, making it much more difficult for a security breach to actually occur. 

Continuous network monitoring optimizes performance and security for all remote sites. If a threat is detected in one part of the network, a cloud-managed solution allows for proactive security updates across all locations.

All the elements of security embedded in the fabric work together to create prognostic, network-wide protection at scale.  A secure, cloud managed SD-WAN frees up significant time and money for the most competitive retailers and restaurants to focus on other, differentiating facets of running their business – not worrying about security.  If security is top of mind for your business and could benefit from an SD-WAN solution, contact sales@paralleltech.com to learn more.