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The retail industry today is a common target for cyber criminals, with many retailers having been in the news as victims of data breaches in the past. As digital innovation and the need to provide omnichannel shopping experiences drive network transformation, retail cybersecurity becomes more vital and more complex.

The complexity of cybersecurity in retail is a leading barrier to protecting sensitive data. Point-of-sale (POS) systems and other devices carrying consumers’ financial information are a common target for hackers. Retail, more than any other industry, is subject to the regulatory requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the upcoming PCI Software Security Framework (SSF), which define strict security controls for the protection of credit card and other financial data. Retail cybersecurity solutions must provide the centralized visibility and management of security devices without sacrificing efficiency and the quality of the customer experience.


Fortinet Retail Cybersecurity Solutions

Fortinet Retail Cybersecurity Solutions

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2022 Retail Experience Market Study

2022 Retail Experience Market Study

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Securing the Store of the Future

Securing the Store of the Future

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Cybersecurity for Omnichannel Environments

As consumers increasingly turn to online retail, physical retail locations must adapt to the changing consumer landscape. By taking a strategic approach to digitalization, Internet of Things (IoT), and customer analytics, retail stores can provide consumers with a flexible and personalized in-store experience that online retailers cannot achieve.

To accomplish this, retailers must deploy fast, reliable, and secure in-store wireless access. Powered by FortiGate, the Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution ensures businesses can meet the bandwidth and quality-of-service (QoS) requirements of a retail network while providing industry-leading security controls and centralized policy management. Coupled with the Fortinet Secure Wireless Access solution, retail locations can deploy enterprise-class Wi-Fi access for guests side by side with business networks.

With these solutions in place, an organization can deploy FortiPresence for location-based analytics, and by leveraging the deep-packet inspection of FortiGate, FortiPresence identifies customers who are show-rooming and uses its presence analytics engine to send instant deals and special offers to phones and in-store digital signage that match offers available online.

Using FortiAP with FortiGate allows retailers to provide customers with a secure, omnichannel experience, while gaining many operational and marketing benefits:

  • Fast deployment with automated radio management
  • Rogue AP detection and reporting for PCI compliance
  • Captive portal with social login
  • Advanced visitor presence and positioning intelligence
  • Dynamic location-based advertising
  • Complete enterprise feature set without feature licenses


FortiAnalyzer provides analytics-powered cybersecurity and log management for air-gapped systems to provide better detection against breaches. FortiAP wireless access points are available in a variety of configurations to address the unique requirements of every organization. Maximize efficiency while maintaining security with Fortinet Secure Access using FortiAP, FortiExtender, FortiLink, and FortiSwitch.
Retail Diagram FortiAnalyzer Wireless Guest Zone
Click on a specific section of the diagram to get more details

Retail Cybersecurity in Limited-resource Scenarios

Retailers are operating widely dispersed store locations that may have very different network and security needs. As customers expect retailers to provide omnichannel shopping environments, retail networks continue to grow more complex due to the introduction of wireless guest networks and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. This means retailers are faced with tough decisions when it comes to balancing the customer experience and addressing the unique security needs and potential vulnerabilities of each location.

Due to this increased complexity and the growing shortage of skilled cybersecurity resources, retailers must operate more efficiently. By utilizing FortiManager, FortiAnalyzer, and FortiDeploy, retailers are able to operate with a high level of automation, save time with zero-touch deployment, and gain network wide visibility and control from a single pane of glass, allowing organizations to manage multiple retail locations with limited IT staff.

Fortinet retail security solutions provide features that help retailers cope with growing network complexity and limited IT support, such as:

  • Single-pane-of-glass view for centralized visibility and management
  • Template, script, and application programming interface (API)-based configuration management
  • A built-in suite of easily customizable security, performance, and usage reports
  • Automated reporting to track retail regulatory compliance
  • One-touch device provisioning with proven scalability to over 10,000 sites 


FortiSwitch offers a broad portfolio of secure, simple, and scalable Ethernet access layer switches to deliver superior security, performance, and manageability. FortiGate Secure SD-WAN combines next-generation firewall (NGFW) security, advanced routing, and WAN optimization capabilities to deliver high performance and security in a unified offering.
Retail Diagram FortiSwitch SD-WAN
Click on a specific section of the diagram to get more details

Secure Networking for Branch Locations

Retailers need fast and scalable connectivity to enable seamless transactions in support of sales, inventory, purchasing, and other activities. Compared to traditional multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) lines for branch-to-branch or branch-to-headquarters connections, software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) offers a more flexible approach to connectivity with faster performance at a better total cost of ownership (TCO).

While moving to an SD-WAN solution does provide increased flexibility and cost savings when compared to MPLS, retailers must now make new provisions for security. Instead of deploying firewalls and other network infrastructure in conjunction with SD-WAN devices, Fortinet offers an all-in-one SD-WAN retail solution with built-in security that enables retailers to achieve consistent security coverage, from the internet to the switching infrastructure. FortiGate Secure SD-WAN has robust SD-WAN threat protection, including Layer 3 through Layer 7 security controls, as well as industry-leading performance with the industry’s first purpose-built SD-WAN chip.

Many retail branches leverage their WAN links to deploy Voice over IP (VoIP) in place of separate phone service. VoIP applications not only place bandwidth demands on the WAN but their availability and experience quality can also be threatened by cyberattacks. FortiVoice provides a flexible and easily configurable VoIP solution that can be secured and isolated from public Wi-Fi networks using the switching and access control capabilities of the Fortinet SD-Branch. FortiExtender provides a 3G/4G backup to ensure that business can continue even in the event of a network outage.

FortiGate Secure SD-WAN has the lowest TCO in the industry and delivers a robust feature set to ensure high application performance and availability:

  • Automatic recognition and optimal routing of over 5,000 applications
  • Application database updates from FortiGuard Labs provide access to the latest malware signatures
  • Complete threat protection, including firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention system (IPS), and application control
  • High-throughput secure sockets layer (SSL)/transport layer security (TLS) inspection with minimal performance degradation, ensuring that organizations do not sacrifice throughput for complete threat protection
  • Web filtering to enforce internet security without requiring a separate secure web gateway (SWG)
  • Highly scalable and high-throughput overlay VPN tunnels to ensure that confidential traffic is always encrypted

Fortinet SD-Branch enables retailers to combine their security and network access by providing features such as:

  • Use of FortiGate and FortiNAC to discover and secure Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices on the network
  • Integration of wireless and wired networks into the security infrastructure
  • Centralized management of firewalls, Ethernet switches, and WLAN interfaces
  • Single-pane-of-glass visibility and control for zero-touch device provisioning


Fortinet Secure SD-Branch enables organizations to converge security and network at the network edge and device edge.
Retail Diagram Secure Networking for Branch Locations
Click on a specific section of the diagram to get more details

Advanced Threat Protection

Based on Fortinet research, 87% of retail organizations have suffered some kind of an intrusion. Moreover, analysis by FortiGuard Labs shows that up to 40% of new malware detected on a given day is zero day or previously unknown.

Because intrusions are inevitable, retailers need to be prepared with the right response and retail security solutions. That requires, first of all, proven, real-time threat intelligence. FortiGuard Labs collects, analyzes, and classifies threats at machine speed with an extremely high degree of accuracy. Specifically, its comprehensive threat detection leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to write signatures for new malware in real time and publishes them across the entire Fortinet Security Fabric.

Retail environments that are widely distributed, offer public Wi-Fi, or deploy IoT devices are at risk of unknown threats slipping in through customer or employee mobile devices and through a variety of application and user interfaces. When a FortiGate detects suspicious content that it cannot identify as a known threat, it sends it to FortiSandbox, which quarantines and inspects the content—including those encrypted by secure sockets layer (SSL)/transport layer security (TLS)—before they reach the network. FortiSandbox then can share information about any detected threats with the other security elements via the Fortinet Security Fabric.

Advanced threat protection must cover internal activity as well. Deploying FortiDeceptor allows retailers to identify malicious insiders or attackers who have gained access to the network. FortiInsight (which powers user entity and behavior analytics [UEBA]) monitors endpoints and users for anomalous, noncompliant, or suspicious behavior that could pose a threat to the business.

A multilayer defense is the best approach to network security and includes features such as:

  • Robust detection and protection against known and unknown threats
  • Identification and remediation of threats inside the business network
  • Automated threat analysis in isolated sandboxes
  • Use of deception for internal threat detection
  • Real-time threat intelligence leveraging AI and ML
  • Continuous updates through the FortiGuard network


FortiSandbox offers a powerful combination of advanced detection, automated mitigation, actionable insight, and flexible deployment to stop targeted attacks and subsequent data loss. FortiMail protects against common threats in cloud-based and on-premises email systems. FortiNAC provides visibility across the entire network and the ability to control access for all devices and users, including dynamic, automated responses. FortiDeceptor complements an organization’s existing breach protection strategy by deceiving, exposing, and eliminating attacks originating from internal and external sources before real damage occurs. FortiIsolator accesses content and files from the web in a remote container and then renders risk-free content to users. Encrypted SSL/TLS traffic inspection in FortiGate NGFWs does not impact network performance.
Retail Diagram FortiSandbox FortiMail FortiNAC FortiDeceptor FortiIsolator SSL
Click on a specific section of the diagram to get more details

Back-office Digital Innovation

By introducing digital innovations in their omnichannel shopping experiences, retailers can continue to attract and retain customers in the face of stiff competition from online retailers. However, digital innovation efforts are also needed to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency.

For example, many retailers are utilizing headless Internet-of-Things (IoT) and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies to streamline processes related to inventory and logistics. These additional—and often insecure—network nodes expand the attack surface. Retailers must consider a security-driven networking approach to such network expansions.

Part of this approach involves network separation and individualized security. Retailers can leverage Fortinet SD-Branch to run side-by-side business and guest networks, allowing IoT devices to be isolated from the public Wi-Fi network. Each network receives the level of security that it requires, and includes out-of-the-box access control to protect business IoT devices.

Fortinet solutions enable digital innovation throughout the retail enterprise with a variety of features:

  • Wireless connectivity with high quality of service (QoS) and integrated security
  • Unified visibility and control in multi-cloud environments
  • One-touch device provisioning with proven scalability to over 10,000 sites
  • Integrated network access control for visibility and protection of IoT devices


FortiSwitch offers a broad portfolio of secure, simple, and scalable Ethernet access layer switches to deliver superior security, performance, and manageability. Maximize efficiency while maintaining security with Fortinet Secure Access using FortiAP, FortiExtender, FortiLink, and FortiSwitch.
Retail Diagram FortiSwitch GuestZone
Click on a specific section of the diagram to get more details

Dynamic Multi-cloud Cybersecurity

Retailers operate large networks of geographically distributed branch locations, making the use of cloud services a logical choice. Public and private cloud deployments both have their advantages, and the use of a secure software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solution can allow organizations to decrease latency and reduce load on the headquarters network. However, network infrastructure that sprawls over private clouds, public clouds, and on-premises data centers often creates a very siloed environment that is difficult to secure.

The first step in deploying network security that is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is achieving network wide visibility and centralized configuration management. The Fortinet Security Fabric offers native integration with all major cloud service providers, meaning security teams can enforce consistent security policies across the network from a single pane of glass instead of manually configuring the individual security settings offered by different cloud providers.

Fortinet also provides retail security solutions designed and built for cloud-based applications. The Fortinet web application firewall (WAF), FortiWeb provides protection for web-based services including company websites, payment portals, and web APIs and can be deployed on-premises as a virtual machine (VM) or as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering. As DevOps teams increasingly make use of cloud environments, a WAF is a vital component of maintaining PCI DSS compliance.

FortiMail includes an email gateway that protects cloud-based SaaS email solutions like Microsoft Office 365 and on-premises email alike. FortiGate next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) include an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) option, offering scalable and cloud-native security for any environment.

Fortinet adaptive cloud security solutions provide retailers with ways to optimize the security of their multi-cloud environments, such as:

  • Native integration of cloud service provider (CSP)-provided security features
  • Single-pane-of-glass visibility and management of multi-cloud environments
  • Cloud-based firewall, email, and website protection solutions
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)-based threat intelligence distributed in real time across the security infrastructure
  • Automated traffic identification and classification, including encrypted cloud application data
  • Secure SD-WAN to provide direct, secure access to cloud resources from branch locations


FortiWeb web application firewall secures cloud-based resources and DevOps environments by protecting against known and unknown threats, including sophisticated threats such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, buffer overflows, and DDoS attacks. FortiCASB manages access to valuable cloud applications and data across multi-cloud deployments. FortiMail protects against common threats in cloud-based and on-premises email systems. FortiGate VM and SaaS offerings perform inspection of traffic entering and leaving the cloud, including SSL/TLS encrypted traffic. FortiCWP evaluates and monitors cloud configurations, pinpoints misconfigurations, and analyzes traffic across cloud resources.
Retail Diagram FortiWeb FortiCASB FortiMail FortiGate FortiCWP
Click on a specific section of the diagram to get more details


Understand how the Fortinet end-to-end connectivity and retail security software solution enables secure networking and protection against the latest advanced threats.  

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Key Retail Cybersecurity Challenges

threat landscape

Sophisticated Threat Landscape

Point-of-sale (POS) and other retail applications contain sensitive customer financial data, which makes them highly attractive targets. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and ransomware attacks are on the rise and are becoming more sophisticated and prolific (e.g., Ransomware-as-a-Service). Incorporation of real-time threat intelligence, technologies that share information about detected zero-day attacks, and solutions that reveal previously unknown threats (such as sandboxing) are critical in protecting against these types of attacks.

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End-to-End Visibility

As new devices access the network, many retail companies’ IT groups are also managing multiple POS systems distributed across many geographically dispersed branches. A high-level view of all the threats across the attack surface—including multiple clouds, mobile devices, and POS systems—is crucial in protecting against sophisticated, multifaceted attacks. However, in response to a burgeoning attack surface and evolving threat landscape, many retailers have deployed point security products across individual security elements. The resulting information silos impair visibility. 

cost effective

Cost Reduction

Retailers often operate with razor-thin margins, so total cost of ownership (TCO) is top of mind in any solution deployment. For IT, this means manual security management tasks should be eliminated through automation whenever possible. Inefficiencies in threat detection and/or response can undermine the company’s success or even its ability to survive.

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Network Performance

Customers expect high performance from retail networks—whether they are trying to complete an ecommerce transaction, make a purchase in person, utilize an in-store kiosk, or use a store’s wireless access point to access information via mobile phone. Any cybersecurity technology that reduces network performance will negatively impact customer experience and/or decrease employee productivity.

Fortinet Differentiators for Retail Cybersecurity

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The Fortinet Security Fabric allows centralized visibility and control over geographically dispersed branch and cloud solutions and disparate security elements, including those of third-party solution providers through out-of-the-box application programming interfaces (APIs) and an open-API architecture.



The automation provided by Fortinet solutions is crucial to rapid threat detection and response, consistent and centralized policy enforcement, and efficient generation of compliance reports. This allows limited security staff to demonstrate compliance with PCI DSS while protecting the business against threats in real time.

threat intelligence

Proactive Threat Intelligence

Fortinet retail security solutions leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to pinpoint known and unknown threats and communicate actionable intelligence across the Security Fabric in real time. These help to protect point-of-sale (POS) systems and other IoT devices against rapidly evolving threats.

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High Performance

FortiGate next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) offer the industry’s lowest latency and incorporate the world’s first software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) ASIC to provide high-performance security at the WAN edge and throughout the network. Moreover, enabling advanced features such as secure sockets layer (SSL)/transport layer security (TLS) deep inspection in the firewall has minimal impact on network performance in speed or throughput.