Improving Energy Efficiency and Enterprise Security With Cloud-Enabled Technology

“There are two kinds of big companies in the United States. There are those who’ve been hacked…and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked.” – Ashley Leonard, President and CEO of Verismic Software

Several years before FBI Director James Comey made that bold, now infamous proclamation on CBS’s 60 Minutes, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) partnered with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to initiate a federal strategic plan for cybersecurity research and development.

In December 2011, the two organizations adopted a comprehensive agenda that aimed to minimize the corruptive use of cyber technology, improve education and training, and establish a science of cybersecurity.

Since then, however, the colossal numbers of data breaches among some of the country’s most respected retail chains have been mind-boggling. You name it — Target, K Mart, Michael’s, Neiman Marcus, Home Depot, Dairy Queen, Staples — leaks of customers’ personal data and the increased vulnerability of retail chain enterprise networks have quickly morphed into a fiscally precarious situation.In July 2014, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued an advisory, stating that at least 1,000 businesses in the U.S. had been affected by Backoff malware, which targets the retail industry’s point-of-sale (POS) systems to mine customers’ personal and financial data. With POS checkout terminals, self-check units, PCs and back-office servers, retail companies encounter multiple attacks in stores and company headquarters every day, whether they know it or not.From compromised credit card information, to sabotaged enterprise networks, security issues are rooted in a combination of challenging factors, including: a highly complex and distributed infrastructure of geographically dispersed stores, the use of public cloud storage, and a lack of on-premise IT professionals who can quickly respond to critical issues when they arise. Continually drawing against revenue, security concerns are forcing retail chain stores to spend millions to protect their networks, while searching elsewhere for solutions to cut costs without sacrificing quality.

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