Clark Brands Selects Acumera for Managed Network Security Services

Published in CSP Daily News

Tech services firm will provide firewalls to Clark, Crown locations

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- Clark Brands LLC, which licenses the Clark and Crown gasoline brands and provides credit-card processing services to more than 1,100 petroleum retailers and fuel stations across the country, has forged a deal with Acumera, a leader in Trusted Connection Services for retail organizations, which will provide managed network security for the company's branded independent retailers.

As a part of this agreement, Acumera will deliver Clark and Crown branded network security devices and services to new locations processing credit-card transactions via the Internet. The Acumera security device is constructed to handle the petroleum and convenience store environment and will provide two physically separate networks to segment the Cardholder Data Environment from the operational network at the store. This configuration creates a layer of protection against unauthorized access to credit-card data, while minimizing the scope of the network that must meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) requirements.

According to Randy Naylor, vice president of operations for Clark Brands, the Acumera-based solution was able to meet the requirements set by Clark Brands from lab testing through a rollout to a significant number of sites, which prompted the decision to move forward with a longer term relationship.

"Acumera has been able to deliver an easy-to-deploy solution to provide our customers with a secure, managed network security solution for payments within their stores," said Naylor. "Working with Acumera will provide a payment security solution for our locations today and will allow us to deliver additional value-added products and services through this relationship. Our goal at Clark Brands is to be 'the choice of independents' by continuing to provide solutions to meet the needs of petroleum retailers."

Locations processing with Clark Brands also gain access to Acumera's team of experts who specialize in working with convenience store operators to reduce the headaches caused by network management and security issues.

"Clark Brands has built its reputation on providing licensees with high-value services while remaining easy to do business with," said Tom Yemington, Acumera's vice president of sales and marketing. "Acumera's services have always been about freeing operators to focus on running their businesses and we're pleased that Clark Brands has selected Acumera as the provider of managed network security for their locations."

EchoSat Communications, Clark's preferred supplier of Secure Payment Gateway (SPG) services, will continue to provide SPG security and routing devices, transaction transport and proactive monitoring of point-of-sale (POS) connectivity 24/7, delivering fast, secure and reliable transactions over the Internet, and will work in conjunction with the Acumera security device.

"We were happy to see Clark Brands implement the Acumera managed network security service in conjunction with EchoSat's SPG service," said Spencer Rutherford, president of EchoSat Communications. "Acumera and EchoSat engineers were able to rapidly integrate the systems and processes for our longtime customer Clark Brands with the Acumera network security service giving Clark Brands a world-class communications solution."

Founded in 2002, Austin, Texas-based Acumera provides Trusted Connection Services to multi-site merchants, specializing in the reduction of problems caused by network management and security issues. In addition to network status, merchants have real-time insight into key operational measures, such as fuel inventory levels and environmental and food safety temperatures.

Naperville, Ill.-based Clark Brands owns the Clark family of brands and the Crown family of brands. It licenses the Clark gasoline brand, the Crown gasoline brand and the Four Corners Coffee brand to independent petroleum marketers and retailers. Clark also processes payments transactions for Clark, Crown and independent fuel stations in 29 states and the District of Columbia.