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Survive the Holidaze—Three Simple Security Tips for Enterprises

Like it or not, the holiday season has arrived in all of it’s retail glory, infused with enough pumpkin spice spiciness to kick that Elf-on-the-Shelf up to the stratosphere. It’s a time when your inner Scrooge might suddenly appear, unwittingly provoked by a mere mention of that stupid Starbuck’s cup controversy.  

And yet, we persist. We shop onward and upward, searching for great deals and the perfect gifts for family, friends, and loved ones. We’ve reached critical mass on Black Friday, Cyber Sunday, and Monday, already blowing away past online shopping records. Outages, slow load times, clogged queues, and angry customers are currently making the media rounds in headlines that read like a Rousey/Holms fight: “TKO” indeed.

So what do Enterprises need to know, in order to prevent such chaos and rampant 
bah-humbugedness? 

Three_Tips_to_Enterprise_Security

No need to lose your cool. Heads don’t have to roll.  Grandma may in fact not get run over by reindeer this year with the right resources in place. 

It’s true.

Enterprises can offer a more secure shopping experience just by following these three simple security tips:

Performance Testing 

It’s often observed, when under heavy load, critical infrastructures collapse completely or partially which impacts security, customer experience and the resultant loss in revenue.  That said, it’s very important that enterprises plan ahead for the increased holiday traffic by performing periodic security performance and load tests on their critical infrastructure (Apps, Network and Systems.) Furthermore, they must make the necessary adjustments to avoid service delays and interruptions that are caused by a lack of preparation and awareness of absolute load capacity and application response times.

Vulnerability Scanning and Monitoring

With the increased number of online, POS, ATM and financial transactions occurring during the holiday season (primarily due to shopping and travel), it’s no surprise that Hackers pursue user-sensitive credit card data in droves.

And with burgeoning online shopping surges, the increased numbers of transactions creates more exposed opportunities for attackers to be successful in their malicious attempts to steal vital information. To protect users from credit card and identity theft and fraud, Enterprises should regularly test and monitor their infrastructure for existing and Zero Day vulnerabilities.  

Threat Modeling 

Try as we might, there is no silver bullet when it comes to security and no one can claim that they are 100% secure (save for that beardy guy up North.) Which is why enterprises should regularly put their critical infrastructure (Apps, Network and Systems) under real world targeted attack — AKA Penetration Testing — that will provide real live threat modeling to uncover infrastructure weaknesses that could lead to a successful attack and expose what assets may be at risk. 

Keep in mind, “being secure” is not a one and done. It needs to be continually monitored, tested, monitored, and tested again. It’s a fact of living in a 21st century where our conveniences require responsible oversight and due diligence of an ever-evolving continuum of our shopping experience.  Future mistakes will happen, yet that doesn’t mean preventative tools aren’t available today.

Yes, it can be exhausting. We understand. It’s an ongoing effort but it’s worth it. Once all the critical security testing solutions, policies and procedures are in place, those smart steps collectively lead towards providing a safe and truly better experience for your customers during this holiday season and beyond. 

Happy Holidays!

For more information on securing the Enterprise, visit: http://www.spirent.com/Solutions/Security-Applications

 

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