Back from NYC, where I attended last week’s National Retail Federation annual conference, “The Big Show.” It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a major event like this one, but retail continues to be important to Dell and is now part of what I do here at Dell Security, particularly for our SonicWALL network security offerings.
So what’s new in the retail industry? Judging from all I saw, tons, of course. Retailers are all in on getting the most out of their brick-and-mortar locations as well as their various online and social outlets. Multichannel and omnichannel are retail’s new normal. New technologies continue to emerge, starting with information technology, which drives the customer experience with data analytics, to in-store beacons and other Internet of Things devices, store, website, and fulfillment design, POS systems, targeted marketing – the list goes on and on, testament to the hundreds of vendors exhibiting at the NRF show.
We had plenty of visitors to the Dell Security booth, and good conversations with all. Some visitors and customers joined us for happy hour and a very elegant dinner Monday evening at Colicchio & Sons, in what we used to call the Meatpacking District when I called New York my home. A part of Manhattan that was almost desolate in the evening has become very much alive. The dinner gave me a chance to listen to what customers were thinking and providing a Dell perspective on how we can help.
You’d think that with all the attention to hacks and breaches of major retailers, security would be a major focus of an event like this, but I didn’t find that to be the case, and was, quite frankly, surprised. Our presentation by Kent Shuart, Dodging the Next Hack, How to Protect Your Business, was one of only two conference sessions with a security focus. You can read more about Kent’s presentation in SC Magazine. Of special note is Kent’s point that small and medium size retailers may be an even bigger target in 2916 than their larger retail counterparts. Many of these small and medium sized retailers have not updated their protections while hackers continue to get more sophisticated. The black market value of credit card records is such that even a small business’s account data can be a major hack windfall.
Me, I don’t believe that the retail industry doesn’t want to talk security. I think that the industry as a whole understands that without a secure network infrastructure, the customer and business data that is their lifeblood is at risk. Whether in a store or online, businesses large and small need solid, secure, scalable, beyond-PCI-compliant network security that doesn’t just protect them from cyber criminals, but gives them a leg up on their competition.
Although the booth was small the message was big: Dell would like to be your trusted partner in all things IT. We can help build your retail business in a secure way without breaking the bank. Learn more about our retail solutions, or visit us online.