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The VAR's Guide to Global Security Risks for Vertical Markets

October 14, 2017

The VAR's Guide to Global Security Risks for Vertical Markets


It's an alarming fact that threats to enterprise cybersecurity are continuing to proliferate, the risks growing in severity, and the stakes ever rising as organizations entrust more and more of their sensitive data and resources to networked infrastructure and public cloud services. As your customers' trusted security advisor and technology provider, it's up to you to steer them toward the most effective security technologies for their needs. In order to understand those needs, however, you'll have to know what risks your customers face. Here are the biggest risks in three major vertical markets worldwide.

1. Healthcare

One might assume that the healthcare vertical is one of the most secure. Healthcare providers and their business associates must abide by the data and network security rules mandated by HIPAA, HITECH, and other government regulations, after all. But as this year's multiple healthcare hacks demonstrate, that's just not true.

Two major issues facing the healthcare vertical are the volume of sensitive data that must be shared between different organizations and the frequency with which that sensitive data must be shared. Healthcare operations depend on smooth and efficient information-sharing between hospitals, doctors' offices, pharmacies, insurance providers, and other business associates. The need for such prolific sharing greatly increases the likelihood that one or more of the stops that the data make will be vulnerable to attack. Within the healthcare vertical, therefore, value-added resellers (VARs) should focus on security solutions that secure their customers' data regardless of the physical infrastructure on which the data currently reside. Technologies like encryption and strict user access controls are critical.

2. Retail

Retail businesses have their own data privacy and network security regulatory restrictions to obey—in this case, PCI DSS, among others—but, much like the healthcare vertical, the reality often falls short of the regulatory ideal.

Retail organizations handle large amounts of consumer credit and debit card data, which are among the most attractive to cybercriminals. And retail organizations handle that data across a wide variety of endpoints, such as mobile or fixed payment terminals. The more terminals a retailer owns, the greater the risk that attackers will find a way to compromise one or more of them. And if terminals are compromised, as The Home Depot's were, attackers may find a way to steal vast quantities of consumer data. VARs working with retail organizations should therefore focus on unifying and hardening security around not just back-end systems, but the variety of customer-facing devices that the customer has in play. 

3. Finance

With its own set of strict data privacy and security regulations, you'd think the finance sector would be another of the most secure when it comes to global vertical markets. You'd be wrong again. Late last year, US federal officials warned that over 500 million financial records had been stolen over a 12-month period. It's not difficult to see the lure the financial sector has for cybercriminals.

It is, however, difficult for financial services firms to develop effective security architectures without the help of an outside advisor. The threats to the financial vertical demand a comprehensive, in-depth, and multi-layered global security approach that unifies on-premises and cloud investments and appropriately protects not only infrastructure and data but also user credentials and service access. Customers should make use of a wide variety of solutions, both software and hardware, on-premises and cloud. On top of that, consistent and proactive monitoring for anomalies and suspicious activity is a must. This makes the finance sector particularly qualified for big data analytics security technologies.

Each sector of global industry comes with its own needs and its own risks, and each of your customers does, too. Are you ready to tailor the solutions you recommend to the demands of your customers? If you need additional resources to draw on, speak to an Ingram Micro Networking and Security specialist today.