How to defend your network against holiday cyberattacks with SASE

December 19, 2023 Chris Alberding 3 min

With cybercriminals out to wreak havoc on retailers this holiday season, consider implementing these security measures to fend off their attacks and exploitations.

For retailers and other e-commerce-dependent businesses, the holiday season brings sugar-plum visions of seamless customer journeys and sales numbers that far surpass projections. However, at the risk of sounding like grumpy old Ebenezer at the Scrooge & Marley holiday party, it also should bring those businesses a heightened sense of urgency in how they protect themselves from cyberattacks.

That sense of alertness is especially true this year, with a report released from application programming interface security company, Cequence Security Inc. warning that retail fraud is up nearly 700% as cybercriminals exploit the holiday shopping season.

There’s too much at stake for retailers not to take the necessary steps to shore up security around their network infrastructure, data, applications and users.

The gift of security

What security measures should businesses be considering to protect their holiday sales season from a potentially ruinous attack? For starters, many of our retail customers are migrating to a Software-Defined Wide-Area Network, or SD-WAN for short. Not only does this cloud-based architecture bring resiliency, reliability, cost-efficiency and scalability, it offers multiple layers of security.

With cybersecurity threats growing in complexity, variety and frequency, businesses and their IT departments would be wise to consider an integrated approach to protecting their network infrastructure. Using SD-WAN in tandem with Security Service Edge (SSE) or unifying them both into Secure Access Service Edge, or SASE, brings robust, multi-layered, cloud-based cybersecurity right out to the network edge to meet those threats.

SASE is the real deal for retailers and any business that has online channels, users, data and assets worth protecting. It collapses the networking and security stack into an easily managed, unified offering that makes life much harder for attackers and much more secure for businesses. My suggestion: Put a SASE framework discussion on your tech roadmap. It could prove to be one of the best cybersecurity investments your business makes.

Deck the halls with top notch security

Businesses need proper protection to defend its network and critical data, which is why enterprises are adding the following SASE solutions to their wish list:

  • A Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) is another security layer to consider. It offers protection at cloud scale, ensuring scalability, elasticity and simplified policy management.

  • Secure Web Gateways (SWG) provide an additional protective layer against ransomware and other threats. Utilizing capabilities like SSL inspection, URL filtering and sandboxing, SWGs protect online devices from infection and enforce company policies to filter malware from user-initiated Internet traffic.

  • A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) also protects against attackers—data breaches as well as malware—from accessing and compromising cloud resources and applications by employing adaptive access control, identity verification and other data loss prevention capabilities.

  • Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is another powerful weapon against cyberthreats like ransomware. Based on a “trust-nothing” premise when authenticating users seeking access to specific services or applications on a network, ZTNA is a critical tool for vetting users, devices, locations, etc., especially in situations where remote users are connecting directly to apps.

Don’t let the Cyber Grinch ruin your holidays

When it comes to securing a network and the assets and users attached to it, doing something is better than doing nothing at all. CBS News reported that 89% of surveyed global businesses indicated that they were concerned about cyberattacks ahead of the holiday season—however, 36% had no “specific contingency plan in place to mount a response.”

Don’t be a part of that 36%. Whether implemented piecemeal or as part of an integrated security approach such as SASE, these capabilities function like the security cameras in a brick-and-mortar store, providing the extra eyes and ears that protect a business from the humbug of a holiday hack.

Stay safe with these SASE solutions

Key Takeaway
Cybercriminals don’t take a holiday. Unsupervised IT networks and systems provide a great opportunity for cybercriminals to attack. Businesses should consider upgrading their security strategy to an integrated security approach, such as SD-WAN, SSE or SASE, to combat cyberattacks now, and any time of year.

Unleash the superpowers of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Security Service Edge (SSE)