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he trend towards what has been called the ‘consumerisation of IT’ is affecting the internal IT security requirements of retailers just as much as it infl uences how they secure their customer-facing systems. Pete Sherwood, managing director of cloud security services

fi rm Infosec Technologies, said a key challenge for retailers in the coming year will be managing the increase in the number of staff’s own devices like iPhones, IPads and smartphones being brought into the workplace. “Combined with employee pressure to allow access from these devices to business networks, retailers will need to develop fair usage policies and address the associated IT integration, access and security risks,” he advised. Sherwood told Retail Technology that, from a technology point

of view, the maturing of cloud computing based networking and security services can help retailers of all sizes manage this transition. “Cloud-managed wireless networks are already being used by leading retailers such as United Colors of Benetton UK and Burger King, where multiple locations are easily managed without dedicated IT staff,” he said. By implementing a wireless network with embedded security

features, Benetton is able to provide secure and safe internal and public access. Sherwood said Benetton is also using the technology to offer Wi-Fi to shoppers, with a view to

introducing push marketing to mobile phones and next- generation devices. “Retailers can also use cloud services to provide email and

web security to business and employees’ own devices,” he added. “These services stop spam and viruses before they reach the business network, prevent data leakage and provide full disaster recovery, irrespective of the device used.”

John Lewis recently announced a ‘bring-your-own-device’ (BYOD) scheme, allowing senior management to use their tablets at work. Recent research of 5,000 businesses carried out by LM Research for Virgin Media Business found 79% of retail employees had already used gadgets from home at work. Despite this, 69% had no plans to introduce a BYOD scheme, with 37% citing security of personal devices used for work purposes as their main cause for concern.

“Retail Technology for the multichannel age”

Lynn Neil

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