Adding more personalized digital consumer experiences in the store, and on-the-go, opens the door for new opportunities … and vulnerabilities. Digital transformation enables retailers to meet consumers’ ever-changing expectations across all channels, but also means potential exposure of highly valuable personal and financial data. Protecting the consumer (and the brand) is part of the new retail experience that shoppers want and expect. Not to mention, integrating an effective security strategy brings the added bonus of mitigating the financial consequences of a security breach, a large portion of which are in domains other than IT’s. 

Security at the core 

Retailers already represented a major target for bad actors due to the amount of payment data and personally identifiable information (PII) that is held on consumer. During the pandemic, this was exacerbated because many retailers needed to rapidly pivot to meet the demands of a completely new and unexpected business landscape, often at the expense of solution security – it was viewed as, “something we’ll take care of, once we catch our breath”. Ultimately, this resulted in a significant increase in cyberattacks against retailers according to the FBI.  

Consumers want to shop anywhere, anytime, on any device, while engaging with a retail brand – including online shopping while in-store. As a response, retailers are working towards providing a frictionless shopping experience where security is at the core. As such the consumer’s device can both be at risk from the retailer’s environment, and conversely can form an attack vector into the environment. With so many digital touchpoints, an integrated, security-by-design, end-to-end solution has become critical.  

Retailers know that security is of utmost importance now more than ever, but finding the right security solution that fits the size and subtleties of their enterprise and budget can be quite a daunting task. While, a robust resilient infrastructure, and network & endpoint security tools are essential enforcement mechanisms, cybersecurity is starts with People and Process – if appropriate policies are not defined and staff are not educated and trained, then an organization can own every tool in existence, but they may be ineffective in their application.  

Learn more 

Room and Board and SoulCycle are two retailers that have found their security solution – a solution that’s right for them – with Cisco. Find out what real-world challenges they were facing, and the impact that Cisco security products and solutions – in conjunction with a solid network foundation – delivered to them. 

Check out our new security infographic to learn more. 


Mark Scanlan

Global Industry Lead for Retail

Industry Solutions Group, Cisco Systems