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    Payless Grocers Outsources Network Security, PCI Compliance

    Family-owned supermarket chain Payless Grocers of Wise County, Va., has achieved PCI compliance and enhanced its IT security by contracting a managed security services supplier to provide a turnkey solution for its operations.

    Family-owned supermarket chain Payless Grocers of Wise County, Va., has achieved PCI compliance and enhanced its IT security by contracting a managed security services supplier to provide a turnkey solution for its operations.

    The three-store grocer worked with Greensboro, N.C.-based Secure Designs, Inc. on the project. “I selected SDI because they were the right choice for Payless -- they are close, they are very responsive, and they offer a good value price,” said Alan Atwood, VP of Payless. “They have met every challenge and exceeded my expectations.”

    Payless operates gas pumps at one of its outlets and runs a customer rewards program both for gas and for grocery sales at all three locations. Because of this, the grocer felt it was essential to establish reliable, seamless and secure communications among the supermarket point-of-sale systems, the gas pumps and the gas wholesaler.

    For a fixed monthly fee, SDI manages, monitors, reports on and troubleshoots all aspects of the Payless network. It coordinates closely with Atwood and the IT consultant (whose role is primarily to interact with the rewards marketing company’s IT department) to ensure that all aspects of the network are operating effectively.

    Achieving seamless communications from the gas pumps turned out to be a major challenge, according to SDI, as the network supporting them had been created in layers that needed to be unraveled before the new system could be installed.

    “Gas price posting is very sensitive and changes all the time,” said Atwood. “Price adjustments need to be made in a very timely way, so communications need to be seamless, secure and uninterrupted. SDI went the extra mile to get the system up and running. Now that it is installed and running smoothly, it’s a background operation and I don’t need to pay attention to it on a daily basis.”

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