The worldwide market for IoT hardware for retail applications is expected to reach $94 billion by 2025. This includes sensors, RFID tags, beacons, and wearables, and translates to a compound annual growth rate of 20% for the years between 2016 and 2025. This is largely the result of merging of digital and in-store operations in retail stores.

However, the explosive growth of IoT across retail networks creates massive blind spots in security. By now everyone is familiar with how Target’s HVAC unit provided the vector of that devasting attack. One glaring security risk highlighted in recent research comes from the explosive growth in beacons, the use of which is estimated to experience an annual growth rate of more than 23% between 2016 and 2025. Retailers are unlocking enormous value using them in greater frequency to “boost in-store experiences and send customers promotional offers and messages.”

L.L. Bean recently announced it will collect user data, and send it to a blockchain system, via embed sensors in coats and boots. According to the retailer, this will allow them to analyze temperature-related data along with how often customers wear and wash the clothing and how they tend to move in their products. If compromised, however, this data could release personal information and lead to network attacks at corporate headquarters.

Similarly, Walmart has expanded its use of in-store inventory devices to cover 50 stores within the United States. The company states that the goal of this program is to free associates to spend more time with customers and less time performing manual tasks.

Finite State believes organizations should be able to understand the implications and risk involved with deploying IoT devices across your network. Just as you provision employee computers and phones, so you know the baseline risk posed by these assets, you should be able to do the same with your IoT devices. Our platform provides a look inside IoT devices — as if they were any other endpoint on the network — and uncovers hidden firmware vulnerabilities, while proactively mitigating IoT risk.

As an information security professional in retail, in order for you to begin to mitigate the risks created by IoT devices, you need the ability to:

  1. Detect and identify 100% of the devices on your network – across all of your segments;
  2. Gain visibility down to the firmware level for unmanaged devices;
  3. Explore tailored intelligence about the devices on your network; and
  4. Generate risk reports and monitor alerts to support continuous risk management.

Finite State’s cybersecurity platform leverages its unique IoT device and firmware risk database to give unparalleled visibility into the exponentially growing number of IoT devices that now make up a significant percentage of most government networks. Just as important, Finite State delivers a proactive solution that leverages both defensive and responsive capabilities to defend the network, by detecting threats and employing decoys, “honey pots,” and other techniques to assess the risk, isolate the attack, and defend your network.

The true potential of IoT happens only when it’s secure. Finite State enables the IoT revolution by providing that security.

The retail industry may just be getting started with IoT, but with Finite State, you can stay secure and protected along the way.

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