Blog :: Security Operations

Five ways Plixer Scrutinizer helps retail networks


Even though most of us have looked at a calendar recently and thought, “I could have sworn we were in May, not October,” you can’t deny that the holidays are coming. There’s a chill in the air, forecasts for snow, and floods of emails and holiday advertising from almost every retail outlet. While shoppers are gearing up to find the perfect gift, anyone who works in retail cyber security is also no doubt preparing for the big rush as well. Here are five ways Plixer Scrutinizer can help you if you’re in that role.

Retail security isn’t just for Black Friday

When most of us think of security in retail, we probably think of physical security to prevent theft and, in the case of Black Friday, stampedes. While this is incredibly important for both the shop and the shoppers, there is the network security side of things that ensures that each transaction is safe and that credit card numbers aren’t stolen. There are, of course, other concerns as well, which can be read about here at Forbes.

Retail cyber security - 5 ways Scrutinizer helps retail networks

Five ways Plixer Scrutinizer helps retail

Ensure PCI compliance

PCI compliance, or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is a set of requirements that ensure all companies are protecting credit card data that is processed, stored, or transmitted and ensuring that it does so within a secure environment. By sending your NetFlow traffic to Plixer Scrutinizer, you are monitoring every digital conversation while maintaining historical data. On top of that, you can quickly run reports and find specific information within your flow data, which will make your auditors very happy. Since credit card fraud falls under this umbrella and is usually the biggest retail cyber security concern, I could spend two or three blogs talking about it alone. But Brian Krebs has already written an excellent article on the topic.

Retail cyber security - card theft

Optimization of POS applications

The biggest thing that keeps businesses alive is, of course, having customers that are willing to spend money. To keep customers coming back, you need to provide a positive experience, which involves a speedy, reliable point-of-sales system. Plixer Scrutinizer can provide you with application metrics that show latency to help prioritize which applications receive bandwidth first.

Improve threat detection

Monitoring a smaller network for a single store or even two or three smaller stores is vastly different than monitoring for a large chain where all traffic goes back to a single point. With larger chains, traffic could be traversing across state lines or even across oceans. Plixer Scrutinizer can centralize all of that data to one location, giving you the ability to look at all networks in one place. This, of course, helps in being able to quickly identify threats and anomalous behavior bettering your retail network security.

Managing cloud risk

With fluctuations in shopping trends also come fluctuations in traffic volume. While most of these trends are predictable, they can have huge differences from one another, which is usually easier to manage through cloud-based resources due to their elasticity. This makes the ability to monitor cloud applications incredibly important in maintaining a business network. With Plixer Scrutinizer, you can monitor applications not only native to your network infrastructure, but within the cloud as well, helping with your cloud retail network security.

Historical data retention

As stated above, in regards to PCI compliance, there is always going to be a need to store data longer than 24 hours. Plixer Scrutinizer allows you to do just this—the only limitation comes down to how much disk space you can provide to your Scrutinizer appliance. If this is something you require assistance with, you can always reach out to our support team for help.

There you have it! If you’d like to give Plixer Scrutinizer a test drive before your big holiday rush, you can download our free edition here.