What retailer BCBGMAXAZRIA learned about cloud security, SIEM

The following is an excerpt of the recently released case study on how a major retailer, BCBG, migrated to a cloud security platform and discovered how SIEM and Log Management capabilities enhanced their abilities for enterprise security. For the entire case study, you may download a PDF version here.

There was a time the only security issues retailers needed to be concerned with was theft. Put a guard in the store and a couple of video cameras and prevent as much loss as possible. Those days are long gone.

The overall security of a retail organization has grown increasingly complex. The smash and grab has been supplanted by the hack and breach.   A retailer’s IT environment is at as much risk as the product on the retail shelf. Every year hundreds of retailers fall victim to electronic intrusion. Ask Raley’s, Zaxby’s, Mapco, Michaels’s and dozens of retailers about how their POS and other exposed systems were not only breached, but cost them untold millions of dollars in stolen customer credit cards, abused sensitive data, and reparations and fines.

But this is not a lesson on the failings of retailers. That would be unfair. The issue is considerably multifaceted, especially when trying to mitigate risk. For any company, including retailers, risk must be balanced between budget, available resources, recognized vulnerability and maintaining compliance. For each company the answer is unique, but there are certain realities any retailer should consider to better protect customer assets…and do so without compounding costs, burdening infrastructure resources and taxing manpower.

Here’s how one retailer overcame similar challenges by incorporating CloudAccess solutions.

Like most retailers of its size, BCBG (BCBGMAXAZRIA) was challenged with a variety of security issues; a great many devices across the country creating vast amounts of log data that overwhelmed existing IT resources. On top of that, there were questions about levels of POS exposure across a substantial distributed network (which necessitated the use of internet resources), regulating and monitoring online account access and internal threats.

According to CIO Nader Karimi they understood that firewall, malware detection, and weekly system-log reviews were generally enough to satisfy compliance (PCI DSS) audits, but because of unseen vulnerability gaps BCBG was still at risk from external breach and internal intrusion. They simply did not have enough visibility to see what was happening to their prolific network assets and not enough eyes to catch issues amongst a sea of data to find the problems quickly enough to solve them. This was not due to lack of talent or effort, but simply an issue of being stretched way too thin (like most other companies).

BCBG recognized they needed to address the issue:

With limited data center space and budget, we didn’t want to deal with all the hardware, redundancy and backup.  We also had limited manpower here internally; so we couldn’t keep up with all the security trends and fine-tune the rules on a daily basis,” said Karl Ma, BCBG’s Senior Manager of Global Information Security. Listen to Karl Ma’s entire video review here

CloudAccess’ cloud-based security and security-as-a-service offering solved several of their problems by:

1.    Instituting real time monitoring 7/24/365
2.    Incorporating data from all POS and register devices
3.    Creating alert process via trans-enterprise correlation
4.    Reducing costs, yet expanding capability
5.    Streamlining compliance reporting
6.    Transitioning to a proactive defense without adding resources

Risk is rising…especially for retailers. From every survey, report and anecdote, security issues are becoming a more significant and louder talking point.  Everything from the introduction of new technologies, the morphing of infrastructures beyond network perimeters, to threats of breach, shadow IT and other internal vulnerabilities indicates that managing a firewall and filtering email is not enough.  Security must be woven into the fabric of the modern retail enterprise. As retail moves to the cloud, so must retail security.  You can add every security solution to the internal network, but that will not stop threats that target e-commerce and other public facing resources. It isn’t a local issue anymore, so security can’t be just local either.

And as BCBG discovered, through the cloud, compliance is easier, enhanced security best-practices are more than affordable (low TCO, high ROI), and security-as-a-service has proven to be considerably less intrusive on resources. According to Karimi, “BCBG is now more confident in protecting the personal and sensitive data entrusted to us by employees, partners, vendors, suppliers, and especially customers.”

 

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