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How Palo Alto Networks and Google Cloud help secure the future of omnichannel retail

Editor’s note: To kick off the new year and in preparation for NRF The Big Show, we invited partners from across our retail ecosystem to share stories, best practices, and tips and tricks on how they are helping retailers transform during a time that continues to see tremendous change. Please enjoy this entry from our partner.

The dramatic transformation of the retail industry has created a host of new security challenges. Store modernization continues to provide tremendous opportunities to create engaging experiences within connected stores, but success ultimately requires an entirely new approach to security. 

This is illustrated by the rise in retail ransomware attacks, which have more than doubled between 2021 and 2022, resulting in an average ransom payment reaching past $160,000. This was revealed in a recently released IDC infobrief on Securing the Entire Value Chain for Today’s Omnichannel Retailers, sponsored by Palo Alto Networks and Google Cloud.  

The study highlights several security challenges retailers face as digital channels are adopted. First, a skills shortage has made it increasingly costly to support multiple generations of infrastructure and applications. Second, retailers have a growing need to collaborate more with third parties and with remote teams, which means securely integrating with diverse applications and systems. Paired with growing customer expectations for a frictionless omnichannel experience, these trends present a perfect storm of adversity that is a danger to slow retailer transformation.

Traditional methods of addressing cybersecurity risks with multiple point solutions simply can’t provide the visibility and security necessary in this new operating environment. However, by taking an integrated platform approach, retailers can embed security in the fabric of digital transformation with a single source of truth, advanced automation, and seamless interoperation with their cloud platform.

Palo Alto Networks and Google Cloud: A Team Approach to Omnichannel Security

Palo Alto Networks and Google Cloud believe that modern security should deliver integrated and automated security across the organization and into the cloud so you can shift your focus to scaling and innovating your business. Together, we partner to help retailers gain control and confidence with end-to-end security that protects data, identities, and applications by securing endpoints, protecting corporate resources, and automating security operations. 

As retailers charge forward with cloud-centric digital transformations, many see IT security as an imperative. Faced with increasing cybersecurity and data security concerns — such as securing resources for a distributed workforce, protecting customer data, and preventing brand-damaging data breaches — retailers understand the need to invest in secure digital infrastructure. In fact, IDC revealed that nearly 60% of retailers consider an end-to-end security platform to be high priority or essential within the next two years. 

Since 2018, Google Cloud and Palo Alto Networks have partnered to protect customers’ applications and data seamlessly as they migrate to the cloud. Since then, the partnership has produced numerous product integrations as well as a joint security reference architecture to help customers secure their Google Cloud environments. When you build your retail infrastructure on Google Cloud, it’s easy to take advantage of the Palo Alto Networks security portfolio to ensure every innovation is a secure one. 

Want to learn more? Download the IDC video infobrief and join us at the upcoming NRF Big Show for our reception and live panel with IDC on January 16th.

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