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Selfridges’ network infrastructure comprises some 200 switches spread across its entire UK operations. It links the department store’s four retail sites, London head offi ce and Leicester support centre. Having previously supported the

Selfridges network team in areas such as network design recommendations, the confi guration of new circuits, virtual private networks (VPNs), virtual local area networks (LANs), switches and point-of-sale (PoS) systems, Imerja provided Selfridges with a detailed proposal, including the monitoring and maintenance of its core LAN environment with specifi c service level agreements (SLAs). Imerja’s ServiceAlert proactive monitoring system now collects metrics that indicate the health of the Selfridges network. In analysing data to assess the impact of increasing loads on the system, Imerja can help Selfridges consider and prepare for actions like commissioning new stores. The Selfridges e-commerce servers, which provide business critical services for its entire website operation, are also monitored. To ensure maximum support for the

network, Imerja’s SLAs included full hardware and software support. To ensure minimal disruption to the business in the event of failures, experienced engineers can replace switches within specifi ed timeframes. As part of Selfridges’ wider project around data security and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, Imerja has gone on to assist with the deployment of Check Point security gateways. These protect the perimeter of all the Selfridges stores and provide intrusion protection at the gateways for PCI compliance, central reporting and management. Ian Jackson, managing director of

Imerja, said: “In today’s fast-paced retailing environment even the smallest outage can be an expensive problem to experience and resolve, both in terms of fi nancial impact and customer satisfaction. We have supplied Selfridges with a bespoke infrastructure that will work to improve functionality and provide the fl exibility to develop the system on an ongoing basis.”


channels in this year’s Retail Technology loss prevention and security feature is evidence that retailers are fi ghting fraud on many fronts.

T Indeed, as retailers have migrated to

multichannel trading, customers have increasingly come to expect higher levels of interactivity, which Andre Delaforge, marketing manager at biometric IT vendor natural security, argued creates pressure to create a seamless shopping experience. “Implementing a single method of customer authentication, which can be used on any or across all channels for payment, loyalty schemes and subscriptions can have huge benefi ts both for security and effi ciency,” he said.

The use of biometric technology for

verifi cation purposes is becoming a must for modern payments, according to Delaforge. But, while adoption is rising, it is still often met with wariness from both retailers and consumers. “However, when utilised in way such as that developed by natural security, it can have signifi cant advantages for retailers,” he continued.

he variety of technology solutions deployed to meet security challenges across multiple physical and digital

The natural security solution uses both a secure element and biometric recognition to create a modern authentication method, which is designed to combine privacy with user-friendliness. The method is made up of two components: a contactless enabled smartcard or SD card (or similar alternative) carried by the customer and an identifi cation that is unique to that customer, such as a fi ngerprint or fi nger vein recognition. “The contactless technology allows

customers to complete a transaction by simply placing a fi nger on a biometric reader, sparing the user the need to physically handle the device,” he said. “This negates the need to memorise a PIN and makes it both simpler and faster to conduct transactions, optimising the entire authentication process. “The method is also a lot less intrusive than people assume,” Delaforge added. “The authentication data stored on the device is unique to the user, so a transaction can only take place when both the user and device are present. This ensures the device cannot be used by anyone else in the case of loss or theft. There is also no central database of biometric information and no way of tracing the cards or the data stored on them, making the whole system incredibly secure.”


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