'Tis the Season for Retail Security

Posted on Dec 06, 2018

For retailers around the world, the most hectic time of year is here: the holiday shopping season. Beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday— which, in itself, broke retail industry records this year— the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts a 4.8 percent increase in total holiday spending through the end of December 2018.

The holidays pose a variety of safety and security challenges for retailers as they work to protect brand names, company reputation, revenue streams, physical assets, supply chains, employees, and customers.

The physical threat of organized retail crime is continuing to grow, with nearly three-quarters of retailers reporting an increase in stolen goods during the past year. Retail space—especially during the busiest time of the year— can often be the kind of public gathering-spot where accidents, arguments, and confrontations occur, and more frighteningly, robberies, acts of terror, and random violence—specifically, and most recently, gun violence. All of this jeopardizes the safety of customers and employees, and ultimately threatens reputation and stakeholder value.

In the case of known physical theft, “[R]etailers are loathe to send staff after criminals, and in fact, the attitude mostly is if they’ve hit the door, let them go, because they could be high or have a weapon,” says one expert. In fact, the idea of a paying customer being harmed during a theft or robbery is a retailer’s worst nightmare. “A serious injury or, worse, death of a staffer or customer would be a game changer, but at the same time, because retailers are concerned about optics, they can’t lock everything down. Shopping remains a tactile, visual experience.”

Meanwhile, these criminal masterminds and everyday shoplifters find new ways to expand their networks and manipulate the retail supply chain every day. 

The physical security threats, and the associated risks they pose to your organization, extend beyond brick-and-mortar storefronts to include global distribution channels and an online presence. Today's retailers no longer have to worry just about physical theft, they also need to protect against digital crimes.

Retailers are increasingly concerned about the threats of the online and mobile shopping experience. For the first time, Cyber Monday outpaced Black Friday this year in sales. As consumers in increasing numbers continue choosing to shop online rather than at brick-and-mortar stores, cybercriminals have more opportunities than ever to steal payment data, credentials, and identities. 

If the old adage, “the customer is always right” in retail is still true, then putting customers first in protecting their purchases online should take top priority. More resources are needed going forward, as the trend of online shopping is only going to keep growing.

In 2017, retailers in the U.S. suffered a nearly 47 billion-dollar loss due to cybercrime. That’s a lot! But businesses largely see such losses as part of the cost of doing business.

What if such physical and cybersecurity risks didn’t have to lead to such great losses?

What if you could stay protected, always one step ahead of potential loss?

You can.

NC4 safety and security solutions for the retail industry provide timely, comprehensive threat and incident information, giving retailers the ability to proactively mitigate risks to their organization.

When retail security teams invest in the technology to prevent losses and mitigate risk, organizations are able to:

  • Extend the ability to monitor, gather, and analyze potential risk from cyber and physical threats
  • Heighten awareness for improved risk management and mitigation
  • Enable review and evaluation to aid those tasked with facility planning/expansion initiatives
  • Improve intelligence sharing for informed decision making

By fusing your physical and cyber security processes, people, and technology, you position yourself to become the hero of your retail organization and make great strides in reducing risk. 

NC4 is reducing the operational friction of combining the cyber and physical security spheres for retailers by providing services like no one else. 

NC4 Risk Center™ is the leader in delivering timely, relevant threat intelligence for physical assets and traveling employees.  

NC4 Signal™ is an open-source intelligence tool designed to filter through the endless flow of information across the web, and present you with a custom stream of rich, relevant intelligence delivered to your retail organization in real-time. 

Combine this with our Cyber Defense Network, which enhances human collaboration and machine automation for improved threat intelligence sharing. Contact us online or call NC4 any time at 877-624-4999 to learn how NC4 technology solutions can secure and improve your retail operations.

This spring, the NC4 safety and security team will once again attend the annual NRF Protect conference, where food and retail companies with inspired loss protection, asset protection, cybersecurity and safety leaders, will bring teams motivated to learn the latest strategies and see emerging technologies firsthand. See you in Anaheim, June 11-13 at Booth 633!


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