News

Argentina’s Musimundo meets Cyber Monday demand with IBM Cloud

BY Dan Berthiaume

Buenos Aires, Argentina — Specialty entertainment applicance retailer Musimundo, which operates more than 200 stores in Argentina, deployed its e-commerce platform on the IBM Cloud to meet increased customer demand on Cyber Monday.

As it prepared for Cyber Monday 2014, Musimundo's greatest challenge was to address the number of entries of people to its website per second, and it needed to manage load balance and security levels in accordance with regulatory requirements.

At the same time, the company had to streamline its check-out response. Musimundo decided to migrate its shopping platform onto cloud infrastructure from SoftLayer, an IBM company, to take advantage of its flexible and automated technology to ensure a seamless shopping experience for its customers. Musimundo chose SoftLayer because it is a single private network connecting all data centers and network points-of-presence, offering unlimited private network traffic between all its facilities to significantly reduce user's bandwidth costs.

During Cyber Monday, the website registered a high score of eight different purchases being made per second with no interference or crash in the system.

"IBM Cloud allows us to respond to the workload peaks without delays or service interruptions," said Claudio Baez, Musimundo.com CTO. "Customer satisfaction is essential to us; we want to provide unique experience for daily purchase, regardless of the number of users online. The IBM cloud enables us to provide our customers with a fast, dynamic, stable and secure website to shop on."

New Digital Way (NDW), IBM Argentina Business Partner, supported the development of Musimundo's e-commerce platform and SoftLayer implementation for Cyber Monday.

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FINANCE

Experts Speak Out: Bebe Data Breach

BY CSA STAFF

Adam Kujawa, head of Malware Intelligence at Malwarebytes Labs, research arm of the anti-malware company:

“It looks like the payment systems for (Bebe’s) U.S. stores were attacked, meaning that most likely they were all using the same software/hardware that had the same vulnerability. Unfortunately, without additional technical explanations, exactly what was vulnerable on those systems will remain a secret and we can only hope that the same vulnerability isn’t going to be used against another retailer.”

Eric Chiu, president & co-founder of cloud control company HyTrust:

“A year has gone by since the Target breach with no end in sight — major breaches are happening more often with the most recent victim being Bebe, on the heels of Home Depot, Sony, eBay and many others. Not only are these attacks getting bigger where attackers are able to siphon off massive amounts of data from the inside, but also the consequences are getting much larger with recent court rulings allowing banks to sue Target for its breach in 2013.

The stakes are high for both companies and consumers — security has to be THE top priority, especially when customer data or intellectual property is at stake.”

Steve Hultquist, chief evangelist at security analytics company RedSeal:

“While details of this breach are sparse, it appears to be another example of point of sale malware capturing scanned card information and sending it to data collection receptacles. This approach underscores the requirements of a successful breach: initial access into a network to place the malware, vulnerable systems on which to place it, vulnerable systems to use as data collection points, and outbound access from the network to external data repositories.

There are enough steps in the attack that automated analysis of the entire network is a critical and necessary defense. Leaving to reactive technologies the task of defending the organization without even knowing that they are properly placed within the network leaves the organization open to persistent attack. It is time for organizations to move beyond passive reactive defenses to active preventative technology.”

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REAL ESTATE

Heslin Holdings acquires retail property in Albuquerque for planned redevelopment

BY CSA STAFF

Laguna Hills, Calif. — Heslin Holdings, Inc., a privately owned commercial real estate investment and development firm, has purchased 1640 Rio Rancho Blvd., aretail property located in Rio Rancho, a city within the major metropolitanregion of Albuquerque, N.M. The firm will redevelop and re-tenant the property as part of a value-add investment strategy. Additionally, the firm has announced plans to invest up to $100 million in commercial properties in 2015.

“Our core strategy is investment in class B and C commercial properties with high upside potential,” said John Belanich, principal and CFO of Heslin Holdings. “This property offers a superb value-add opportunity.”

The recent Heslin Holdings acquisition is a large portion of the Hilltop Plaza Shopping Center. The property was acquired for$4.4 million from Sutton Place Investments LLC. The acquisition is currently fully leased to Kmart and comprises an 86,479-sq.-ft. single tenant retail space and 405 parking spaces. Heslin Holdings will both enhance and re-tenant the space, with either one or two large national retailers, following the expiration of Kmart’s lease in April 2015.

“Demand for leasable space at this property is strong among major credit tenants and was a key factor in this off-market acquisition,” said Casey McKeon, VP of Acquisitions for Heslin Holdings. “The superb fundamentals in this market support this demand and we are pursuing additional opportunities in this region.”

Jeremy Nelson of CBRE represented Heslin Holdings in the Albuquerque transaction. Jim Dountas and Lia Armstrong of CBRE represented the seller.

“We continue to pursue commercial acquisitions in all sectors, with an emphasis on value-add retail, with a goal of investing up to $100 million in 2015,” said McKeon. “We look at value-add opportunities in Western U.S. growth regions where market fundamentals such as positive employment, housing and retail indicators support our value-add investment strategy.”

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