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Retail Tech Deep-Dive: Meraki Security

Retail Tech Deep-Dive: Meraki Security

Join us as we dive deeper into Cisco and Cisco partner technology deployed at the Cisco Store! We asked Chris Weber (Senior Product Manager, Meraki MX security and SD-WAN) and Imran Idrees (Senior Product Marketing Manager, Cisco security and SD-WAN) to discuss how Cisco Meraki security allows businesses to stay ahead of the latest threats while reducing both cost and complexity.

How does Cisco Meraki security improve a retailer’s and shopper’s in-store and/or virtual shopping experience? What problem are they solving?

In cybersecurity, the quicker you can protect against a threat, the more you minimize adverse impact; or better yet, avoid any disruption at all. However, one of the security challenges facing retailers is a complex and fragmented architecture. A collection of complex security technologies that have built up over time and are separate from networking technologies can lead to slow responses to the latest threats and are prone to human error, as it can require specialist talent to manage. Meraki MX overcomes this by taking a cloud platform approach to deliver the quickest way to protect against the latest threats, while also removing complexity and cost with: 

  • An always-on path for the latest Talos threat intelligence
  • Easy-to-manage firewalls designed for all IT teams of all skill levels
  • Intuitive, serverless architecture that elastically scales
  • Automatic smartphone-like firmware updates for zero-touch protection 

Retailers also face various in-store connectivity challenges related to the performance of business-critical payment apps, inventory systems, point-of-sale devices, security cameras and IoT devices, and shoppers’ Wi-Fi and browsing experiences. In addition to powerful protection, Meraki MX solves these challenges in several ways for retailers of all types: 

  • Built-in SD-WAN to automatically optimize WAN experience over all uplinks 
  • Instant access to ThousandEyes for proactive monitoring and visibility into the performance of the WAN to get ahead of possible issues before they impact performance
  • Models with built-in cellular modems for added redundancy
  • Part of an integrated SD-Branch management platform with one intuitive UI that also includes:  
    • Intelligent Wi-Fi access points for supreme wireless experience
    • Enterprise-grade SASE protection for remote users with Cisco Secure Connect — wherever they are
    • The simplest and most scalable dedicated 5G cellular gateways to supplement wired connectivity or support a cellular only branch
    • Smart security camera systems and sensors
    • Mobile device management for point-of-sale devices’ security, tracking, and management 

What would you like people to know about Cisco Meraki security when they see it in action at the Cisco Store Tech Lab? 

All Cisco security products are powered by Talos and that’s no different for Meraki MX. At its core, Meraki MX has an always-on path to Talos, providing undisputed threat intelligence. Talos is comprised of 250+ of the world’s most sought-after threat researchers and scientists analyzing 625 billion web requests every day – which is approximately more than 70 times the number of Google searches processed every day. They block 20 billion threats daily, 20 times more than any other vendor.  

Meraki MX is a full-fledged next-generation firewall that is easy to deploy and scale. All the latest intelligence from Talos is automatically distributed to millions of Meraki MXs across hundreds of thousands of customers on the Meraki platform to block 98% of all malware—that’s 25% more than the industry average. 

How do you envision Cisco Meraki security being used in retail environments in the future? 

There’s a well-known saying in cybersecurity—the only certainty is change. From the moment a new threat is discovered by Talos, it takes less than 10 minutes for every Meraki MX customer to automatically be protected using zero infosec resources.  

Additionally, one of the advantages of building Cisco Meraki security on a cloud native platform is that it's designed for change. As the security landscape and threats inevitably change, Meraki security can easily adapt to keep retailers’ stores, assets, and customers protected. 

For example, as the latest threats become ever more sophisticated, acting across multiple vectors, Cisco Meraki security is integrating with Cisco XDR. This will allow retailers to quickly thwart sophisticated multi-vector attacks, with machine learning rapidly correlating and contextualizing mountains of network-wide telemetry data and AI instantly suggesting remediation. 

Moreover, with hybrid work and users being more distributed than ever, the Cisco Meraki platform added Cisco Secure Connect to protect users wherever they are. 

What do you think will be a priority for shoppers in the next 5 years? 

Definitely experiences – especially ones that add convenience through a personalized shopping experience. This includes thoughtful and well-timed suggestions, continuity in online and in-store shopping as well as shipping, and more.  

Likewise, what do you think will be a priority for retailers in the next 5 years? 

For retailers, cybersecurity protection will be a priority as threats inevitably increase and become more sophisticated. Ongoing digital transformation and simplification to remain competitive will continue to drive the importance of high-performance connectivity, as well as continued data and analytics – businesses must know their customers above all!  

Interested in learning more about Cisco Meraki Security? Visit our page or request a demo now. 

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