MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group (‘MediaMarktSaturn’) is Europe’s leading consumer electronics retailer. The German organisation’s online and physical footprint spans more than 1,000 stores across Europe and touches millions of customers every day. A subsidiary of CECONOMY AG, MediaMarktSaturn and its 52,000 employees generate annual sales of € 21.4 billion (Financial year 2020/21).
The overriding goal for the MediaMarktSaturn Technology subsidiary is to ensure every customer receives a consistently reliable and rewarding retail experience – whichever channel they transact through. Cybersecurity is a vital component of this strategy. The talented IT security team members collaborate closely and are continually innovating to ensure MediaMarktSaturn can sell safely through any channel.
“Each of our stores represents a complex, connected environment,” says Dirk Zirbel, Engineering Delivery Lead & Global Network Lead, MediaMarktSaturn Technology. “Every asset – from point-of-sale terminals to the instore wi-fi – must be protected against cyberattack. Salespeople must be able to securely stream live broadcasts and music to TVs, phones, and other devices, for example, to demonstrate products to customers in-store.”
With more and more connected devices and applications making their way into the stores, the retailer also needed reliable, efficient connections to data and applications in the cloud and the data centre. “A key challenge is to modernise store connections, providing reliable, cost-effective bandwidth,” says Dirk.
MediaMarktSaturn’s legacy cloud security platform was struggling to cope with the exponential growth in online traffic. Dirk explains: “Only an intelligent and policy-based SDWAN technology with the highest levels of automation could cope with the exponential growth in online traffic. We needed complete visibility into all resources, applications, and data across our store and cloud environments, such as Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. The previous platform wouldn’t scale, and our small team was unable to manage this in an efficient way.”
A final security challenge arose from MediaMarktSaturn’s organisational structure evolving into Agile product teams, with over 100 such teams developing independently in their own environments. Without the right combination of visibility and control, it was difficult for Dirk and his team to protect runtime environments and extend security to the entire application lifecycle. “We needed to prevent misconfigurations in the development pipeline before they reached production,” he says.
The retail security modernization strategy was required to:
MediaMarktSaturn standardised on the Palo Alto Networks portfolio as part of an Enterprise License Agreement to enable a modern and secure shopping experience. The portfolio natively integrates network and cloud security into one architecture, preventing threats from impacting availability, performance, or the MediaMarktSaturn brand.
“We chose Palo Alto Networks for the exceptional quality of the integrated network and cloud security. Other defining factors have been their professionalism, commitment, and expertise. They are always by our side and we have created a very trustworthy partnership,” says Dirk.
Clustered, ML-Powered Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) are deployed in-store and in the data centre to proactively defend against new threats and to protect devices. They continuously collect data and recommend policy changes to reduce risk.
The integrated portfolio also includes natively integrated Cloud-Delivered Security Subscriptions (CDSS), spanning PAN-OS® SD-WAN, Advanced URL Filtering, Advanced Threat Protection, and WildFire®. PAN-OS SD-WAN, for example, virtualizes the in-store network, enabling MediaMarktSaturn to demonstrate electronic products online, confident the network connection is secure, reliable, and provides high performance.
Prisma® Cloud will soon secure MediaMarktSaturn’s cloud networks, enforcing identity-based microsegmentation on hosts and containers. This will reduce the network attack surface and prevent the lateral spread of cloud breaches without the complexity of changing the underlying cloud network architecture.
“By normalising network security with identity-based microsegmentation, we can understand our applications and move faster towards a Zero Trust security posture,” says Dirk.
MediaMarktSaturn is securing the retail store of the future with Palo Alto Networks. The benefits include: