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Retail industry requires cloud-based continuity plans

The modern threat landscape for enterprises is constantly evolving. The pace of technology is rapid, with new advantages appearing every day. But at the same time, the risks associated with leveraging these new assets are increasing as well. Digital criminals and cyberterrorists are interested in stealing sensitive information and cause general chaos wherever they can, and many of their actions can result in the need for computer systems to be wiped of their information.

In the retail sector, where payment transactions and stockroom numbers are now largely performed on computer networks, this can create a very specific set of problems. This is especially true given the growing number of customer interactions that are occurring online alongside traditional brick-and-mortar storefront sales.

Things are changing so much, in fact, that traditional disaster recovery and business continuity strategies executed without outside assistance are no longer viable 

"Changes in retail technology, the shift toward online shopping and the insatiable demand for omni-channel retailing have made many of the traditional approaches to business continuity impossible to implement," wrote ESCM contributor Paul Doble. "As a result, businesses are being forced to rely on partnerships and external suppliers to provide services that are either completely new or which had previously been controlled in-house."

One of the tools that can be leveraged in the face of adversity is the cloud. BC/DR strategies have found a great ally in cloud flexibility. Not only can redundancies and backups be accessed from anywhere in the world, but they can be applied to computers and other hardware that may be replacements for devices that cannot be used after a disaster.

Those in the retail industry need to consider how present day threats can affect their networks and systems. This will, more often than not, result in the procurement of cloud-based services.

Cloud recovery extends past data backups
In today's world, data is a commodity. Retailers deal with a lot of essential information that can have a direct effect on daily operations should it slip out or become lost. This is why when people think of disaster recovery, they generally consider data to be the first and foremost concern when developing their strategies and initiatives. 

It is becoming widely accepted that the cloud is quickly turning into the de facto status quo for business continuity. But there are plenty of other aspects regarding any organization that can be encumbered by an attack or malware invasion. In many situations, some hardware will have to be wiped completely, taking critical network settings with them.

Now that a vast number of point of sale systems are managed through computers, this could mean storefronts being taken out of commission while devices are reimaged and meticulously restored to their former functionality. Complicating this matter is the issue of human error. It stands to reason that people will make mistakes occasionally while they work. When attempting to bring retail networks back online, one wrong click or keystroke could result in countless financial errors. 

Downtime is something that must be avoided at all costs, and many feel that the only way to effectively prevent it is to look toward the cloud. This is why certain computer settings have to always be preserved. One way to do this is to leverage reboot to restore software, like Deep Freeze from Faronics. Deep Freeze can mean the difference between keeping momentum in the event of a disaster and losing sales while systems are down.

About The Author

Kate Beckham

Kate has been lighting up the blogosphere for over 5 years, with a keen interest in social media and new malware threats. When not sitting at a café behind her Mac, you’ll usually find her scouring the racks for vintage finds or playing guitar.

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