Industry Solutions: Retail

The retail industry faces a variety of complex issues such as a dynamic workforce with high turnover, highly varied identity roles, and potentially a multitude of locations and diverse online presence

Organizations must figure out a way to keep their processes consistent across locations and platforms, remain compliant across geographies, and manage the vast amount of consumer data collected. The retail industry leads all others in their quantity of data breaches, so it’s imperative to find a partner skilled in the specific needs of your organization – who can bring you the best-in-class vendor solutions. By trusting GCA with your IAM landscape, you can focus on what you specialize in: building a competitive retail brand.

How you benefit from allowing GCA to help you...

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Thorough assessment of your environment with proper technology recommendations to meet your specific needs and workforce capabilities.

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Ensure you invest in a solution that will evolve with regulatory changes.

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Enhanced capacity to achieve your goals with optimal efficiency, compliance adherence, and ability to innovate.

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Implement products that are poised for scalability to meet peak demands during busier seasons.

With GCA, we can be assured that our IAM program is designed, operating, and moving forward in the most optimal way to serve our clinician and physician user base. The quality of their work and the professional relationship that we have with them is a true value-add to our organization.
Scott Breece, - CISO, Community Health Systems

Challenges for the retail industry: Managed through IAM

If you’re reading this, or are any living/breathing human in the US, there is a pretty high likelihood that you worked in some aspect of retail at some point in your career. What does this mean for the industry? Simple: high turnover. And while the workforce life cycle is frequently the first and most prominent issue that comes to mind, there are a variety of other problems unique to this environment. Retail also creates obstacles because of its dynamic Identity roles: part-time, contractors, seasonal, multiple locations, etc. Also, there is a need to manage dynamic access to systems such as partners, supply change vendors, and customers. That’s not to mention the complexity of regional regulations that companies must simultaneously abide by. Whether retailers are managing an abundance of physical locations, a diverse online presence, or a combination of both, they must figure out a way to keep their processes consistent across places and platforms, remain compliant across geographies, and manage the overwhelming volume of consumer data collected. This is no small undertaking. Without proper guidance, companies can end up heavily invested in an array of products that don’t work cohesively together or solve their problems, and adapting the environment to evolve with advancing technologies can be overwhelming.
On the other hand, the process to address these challenges could be seamless: your environment is thoroughly assessed and evaluated, the proper technology recommendations are established to meet YOUR specific needs and workforce capabilities, and the implementation processes progresses through its phases for the quickest ROI. At GCA, we don’t just understand the needs of the retail environment; we know that each company is unique in how they are equipped to handle them and require a strategy designed to optimize their resources while achieving their market strategy. But first, let’s take a look at the specific areas to consider.

The retail industry leads the world in security breaches.

You’ve undoubtedly seen the names of various major retail organizations as headlines admitting to being breached (Macy’s, Adidas, Panera Bread, etc). But what you may not know is that as of 2018 the retail industry leads the world in security breaches, beating out healthcare and financial services. The rise to the top of the ranks has not been subtle, either. The number of global breaches has more than doubled from the previous year, and 60% of total retailers have reported at least one cyber breach. To combat that daunting statistic, regulations are becoming increasingly stringent on how companies are allowed to handle their data. One of the most notable of the compliance standards for the retail industry is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) which protects cardholder information by dictating how it should be handled and stored. It even stipulates that an organization must build and maintain a secure system and implement strong access control measures- including a provision in PCI DSS version 3.2 that requires multi-factor authentication for admin level access to cardholder data. With government regulations mandating the adoption of components of Identity Access Management, it’s vital for companies to evaluate a strategy and technology that will address their needs to stay relevant amid evolving compliance standards. If there is one thing we can be sure of, it’s that regulations will become increasingly more strict, so it’s essential to make an initial investment in a solution that can evolve with the regulations and not leave you needing to purchase additional technology continuously. At GCA, we have the expertise to guide your technology decisions now to prepare for your future.

Brand Security is Consumer Trust

Retailers are hyper-focused on building a trustworthy and reliable brand that their consumers will faithfully want to buy from, but the staggering industry statistics that nearly guarantee a successful breach have caused the industry to shift their focus to include product quality standards and information standards. The shift comes not only as internal environments become more challenging to protect but as customer expectation grows to incorporate information security with brand loyalty. To protect your product and reputation from threat actors, companies must first safeguard consumer information. As we have witnessed from the retail giants mentioned above, damage to brand reputation can take a devastating toll on a company’s bottom line. GCA understands that you’re trusting us with more than your information security needs. You’re trusting us with your brand’s reputation, and you need a roadmap with a platform that is reflective of that. Identity Access Management will enable your organization to achieve its goals with optimal efficiency, compliance standards, and ability to innovate. By trusting GCA with your IAM landscape, you can focus on what you specialize in: building a competitive retail brand.

Scalability: Maintaining your efficiency through peak seasons

In addition to having complex environments to manage, a paramount consideration for a company in the retail industry is scalability. Since the industry often relies heavily on the influx of seasonal purchases such as those around Christmas, rapid employee onboarding is essential to make sure that organizations can make immediate changes to their workforce without any employee downtime or overwhelming access requests to the IT department that hinders efficiency. Companies lose hundreds of hours on this process alone each year. They also leave themselves vulnerable after the season with lengthy offboarding processes. In an environment filled with high turnover, automated employee lifecycle management is fundamental. Another component of scalability that should be considered is the recognition of and ability for a recommended product to accommodate the omnichannel. With the influx of devices that are being used to access retailer information such as web, mobile, and social media, consumers expect secure and consistent experiences across all channels. Statistics prove that extended lag time between channels causes businesses to lose prospective sales. GCA is partners with the best in the industry for IAM performance and execution. In addition to recommending the best solutions for your environment, we’ll ensure that the products can meet the peak demands necessary to excel in the retail space. We enable the first-class consumer experience you demand while simultaneously maintaining world-class experience for your employees.

With our extensive background, GCA has the capabilities to assist you in every component of the retail chain

1. Customers

With CIAM (Consumer IAM), we can assist in making the relationship between the customer and the business more seamless. This includes access management solutions that reduce friction by leveraging existing trusted relationships for ease of onboarding and authentication. For example, we implement tools that allow our clients to conveniently build self-registration workflows on their sites and even leverage social authentication patterns, such as login (or seed the account with details from) Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. Once created, these tools allow users to update their profiles and even delete their accounts from the system in a secure way.

2. Partners/Vendors

Partner/Vendor organizations are very similar to customers, but they possibly have more access internally, similar to internal employees. They can leverage the Privileged Access Management (PAM) and Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) solutions to request user level or elevated access to corporate assets based on the policies of the organization. Finally, to ensure that access is revoked if an individual user is no longer associated with the partner organization, federation technologies can tie the authentication of the user back to their corporate entity. This federation ensures that you do not need to worry about a terminated employee retaining access to their assets if the partner or vendor fails to inform you of the termination.

3. Employees

We can control the full lifecycle of the user access, whether it is enforcing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) based on a risk score, provide Single Sign-On (SSO) to ensure frictionless access to resources, or protect high privilege accounts and track associated tasks. Our firm can also help with giving a zero-day start for a new employee with automated, role-based provisioning and automatic removal of access upon termination. Finally, to ensure full compliance, we can assist in easing the process of user access reviews by keeping the focus strictly on the access that poses the most risk to your organization, both from a security and a regulatory compliance standpoint.

Whether you are a retail organization who has yet to start their Identity & Access Management journey or you are looking to further refine how access is managed, GCA has the expertise and the desire to help you achieve your vision!

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