One would have thought the need for retail security systems has largely decreased following the latest COVID-19 pandemic, since people prefer online shopping now. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Retail theft and organized retail crime are now thriving more than ever, along with vandalism, store assaults, and cybersecurity threats. Some people are shoplifting food out of impoverished necessity and economic uncertainty, and others with criminal backgrounds relapse into violence.
Retail security has now become a №1 loss prevention system.
What Is Retail Security Systems?
One of the first solutions to the issue of retail crimes was installing surveillance cameras, but security systems have since evolved immensely. Retail security nowadays primarily consists of numerous in-store systems and cybersecurity options. Before determining which option to use, a store owner should access their weak spots first, whether it’s a poor neighborhood, dishonorable competitors, or the lack of overall protection.
Cameras and Alarms
In-store security is the most popular choice as it is the first line of defense. Video surveillance is still essential, paired with multiple alarm systems - open/close sensors, indoor glass-break and motion detectors, and smoke analyzers. Access control systems can lessen the possibility of employee theft. Camera technologies have got an upgrade too. Dome cameras are here for aesthetical concealment, and blurry video footage is no longer an issue with the highest definition quality and day/night features.
One of the newest additions to the “fight retail crime” team is RFID chips, which stands for radio-frequency identification. Not only do they improve stock control and enhance customer experience, but they alert the security of unauthorized product removal. Even the whole physical store’s identity can revolve around them, like Amazon Go. Tags in retail are also the work of the electronic article surveillance system (EAS), and they need to be deactivated after each purchase.
The other side of modern retail - online shopping - has brought us growing numbers of cybersecurity threats. Moreover, cybersecurity administration in retail is still feeble; for example, nearly 40% of businesses didn’t do any cybersecurity risk assessment in 2020. Such negligence can result in both financial and reputational losses. The worst-case breach scenario might involve losing sensitive client information, i.e., payment data and credentials, meaning thousands of people’s safety will be at risk.
Benefits of cybersecurity for retail involve:
- maintaining loyalty and brand reputation among stores - both physical and eCommerce;
- minimizing the risk of insider threats by monitoring system access, which in case of preliminary employee assessment can also reduce turnover;
- adding competitive advantage as opposed to other stores that are neglecting security measures;
- customer satisfaction and trust due to available encryption - people feel safe and looked after. 87% of clients will not deal with a company if they believe their data won’t be handled securely.
Retail Cybersecurity Solutions
Unfortunately, due to being poorly defended, retail continues to be an attractive target of cybercrime. People with malicious intent and hacker knowledge are evolving, and retailers need to evolve too, equipped with the most current retail cybersecurity solutions. Keep in mind that every device connected to the internet in one way or another is vulnerable to attacks.
While big retail corporations are starting to invest more in cyber defense, small businesses still believe themselves an unlikely target. In reality, 73% of companies with less than a million dollars in revenue do not have any defense plan and don’t think it’s necessary. One out of four hasn’t got any idea where to start when it comes to cyber protection.
The most prominent gaps in retail security issues:
- Lack of defence against mosr=t malicious codes that run on Windows systems. Linux is considered more secure but less commonly used.
- Extensive usage of old operating systems (Windows XP and others), which are more prone to vulnerabilities.
- The absence of point-to-point encryption for most credit cards.
Here are the leading security solutions to review and implement:
- Only use licensed and up-to-date equipment and software with regularly updating antivirus installed on every device. The database of potential vulnerabilities and ransomware gets updated regularly.
- Two-factor authentication is a must for eCommerce to make hackers’ jobs less easy - the same goes for complex passwords. When left inadequate, such transactions may lead to unauthorized access.
- Administer security penetration testing to see where your system might be more prone to attacks.
- Encryption software will protect sensitive customer data. Add application codes and multi-device certificates as well.
- Beware of sketchy customers - in this day and age, the “client is always right” motto is slowly getting outdated. Always be polite to customers but skeptical. Think like a hacker and be on the lookout for potential weak links and employee susceptibilities.
- Inform and educate your employees on the importance of cybersecurity and how they can help.
In retail, data breaches, theft, and assaults are of nearly equal importance. In most cases, the steps needed to ensure decent protection of your retail store are uncomplicated but indispensable nonetheless. Retail security services are designed for risk mitigation and have multiple in-store and virtual strategies to defend your business. The most recent shift to global online shopping resulted in the rise of consumer data exploitation; therefore, we have to update our security standards. If you need a consultation - you can contact us.