In recent months, retail-sector data security has made top headlines.

However, the news has unfortunately been rather disheartening. First, in January of this year, Target confirmed that 40 million debit and credit card accounts were breached between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2013. Additionally, the names, home addresses and phone numbers of 70 million Target customers were compromised. Then, later in January, news came of another sweeping consumer data breach, this time at Neiman Marcus. From July 16 to October 30, 2013, the credit card information of 1.1 million shoppers who made in-store transactions was stolen. Not comforting news to the millions of consumers in this country.

These far-reaching infringements spotlight the pressing need for improved and stronger data security. Stolen card data will be sold on the black market for an extensive period of time to come, and company profits at affected retailers have been negatively affected. Target’s profits plummeted over 40 percent in the fourth quarter, The New York Times reports. As a recent USA Today article details, the latest breaches marked “a pivotal moment for data security. Merchants jumped to upgrade and protect their systems. Along with data security companies, payment processors and lawmakers on Capitol Hill, they joined a growing chorus calling for better standards and technology to safeguard data.”

One sure-fire method of protecting data is through the use of cloud-based systems. The cloud is a notably viable replacement of independent, cumbersome servers. As Gordon Makryllos writes in CSO Online, “the cloud offers a more flexible alternative, giving organizations virtual backup locations that are remote, safer than physical locations (which are often not sufficiently far from primary sites to be considered truly secure), and significantly, the ability to access all that data from absolutely anywhere.”

As Makryllos notes, the recent breaches in the retail sector “have underlined how essential data security has become as a business issue.” Here at GoSpotCheck we believe that ensuring data security is of paramount importance to empowering companies to focus on high-performance operations and results. That is why we strictly adhere to security-related best practices in mobile data collection, instantly uploading, backing up and securely storing our users’ retail execution data on cloud-based servers. After all, in today’s data-rich business terrain that drives crucial and actionable insights, robust data security is essential.

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