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Executive Insight: Secure Wireless Network Transactions

Courtney Radke, CISO - National Retail, Fortinet

As restaurants scramble to adapt to the new normal, how can technology help by delivering efficiency, security, and ROI?

To support secure walk-up order and payment transactions at the restaurant, the wireless network can be extended to a broader physical footprint of the business. Business owners need to ensure the privacy of customer payment card data in compliance with industry standards like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). At the same time, restaurants must restrict unauthorized access to other parts of their business from patrons or other outsiders. By combining network and security functions, while enabling the reliable and secure use of cost-effective broadband via SD-WAN, retailers are able to reduce complexity, consolidate technology, and save money. The efficiencies gained by using a Secure SD-Branch approach, allows restaurants to focus on creating growth opportunities for their businesses and provide consistent guest experiences.

As restaurants adopt and refine off-prem solutions such as pick-up, drive-thru, and delivery, what new challenges, such as security and food safety, does off-prem present? How is technology meeting those challenges?

There has been a TON of technology investment that has in some cases been shimmed or shoved in without a plan of action. Security in many cases was an afterthought (or hasn't been thought about yet) because the technology needed to be implemented in a quick manner to survive. This has created an environment where we have devices deployed on non-secured wireless networks, with little to no segmentation and a gap in visibility. Likewise, the ease and frictionless nature of deploying workloads in the cloud has led to massive cloud sprawl which has far reaching ramifications such as customer data loss, greater chance for misconfigurations, and an increase in threat vectors for attackers. By implementing a secure SD-WAN solution, restaurants gain integrated networking and security capabilities to protect the WAN edge and support low to no-contact transactions, as well as pop-up and satellite locations, as a secure extension of the branch network. 

Restaurants are collecting more consumer data than ever before -- how can technology leverage that data to enhance direct-to-consumer communications, personalization, and loyalty?

This is a good use-case for Artificial Intelligence (AI). While I normally lean towards AI being used to augment the SOC (reducing manual actions, increasing efficiency, etc.) this is an area where AI can be used to correlate data in a way that directly impacts bottom line via personalization of experiences for the customer. Restaurants are finding that while much more information is available it may not all be usable, or practical, to collect and retain. AI-augmented big data analysis allows businesses to correlate customer information in real-time to ensure only the relevant and valuable information is used to enrich the customer experience. Likewise, AI has been integrated into the security stack to protect against anomalous logins and botnet attacks that regularly impact customer facing web applications and loyalty apps.