When it comes to retail loss prevention, some traditional security issues continue to exist as well as emerging retail security issues. At Itech Digital, our retail customers in Indiana and across the U.S. talk about the evolving security issues they face. The good news is that technology is also evolving, which is innovating video surveillance and analytics solutions, creating a convergence between IT and physical security, and positioning you, as a retailer, to proactively protect your business, product, and customers. In this article, we discuss the myriad retail security issues and the best retail security solutions.
1. Inventory Control
Preventing shoplifting is a chief retail security issue and both internal and external threats exist. Internally, employees can sneak inventory out the back door, hide them in their personal belongings, or work with partners engaging in fake returns or other schemes. Externally, opportunists make their way through unlocked doors, break-in after-hours, shoplift during store hours, participate in organized retail crime, and engage in scams at the point of sale.
Access Control. Traditionally, this refers to building perimeter entry points as well as access to stock rooms, offices, loading docks, and even warehouses and distribution centers. Access control prevents the wrong people from entering and exiting. However, today's technology can add RFID readers, biometrics, logging, keycodes, and integrate with other security system solutions.
Video Surveillance. Traditionally, people understand this as CCTV cameras that record footage, which can be reviewed after an incident. However, today's retail security solutions provide crisp, clear footage, facial and license plate recognition, and video analytics. It also integrates with access control, POS systems, and communication/notification systems to deliver comprehensive security, case management, and incident response system, as well as the ability to optimize business operations and streamline processes.
Analytics.Analytics involves algorithms designed for your specific retail business use. For instance, maybe you want to capture how long back doors are propped open. Perhaps you want to measure how long customers stand in line or how many people leave the store without making a purchase. You could even compare the number of items placed on the counter compared to the transaction in the POS if you integrate the two. There are many options and you can expect to see this expand exponentially as artificial intelligence and deep learning take hold.
Intrusion. Intrusion includes the alarm system component that notifies police in the event of a break-in or panic button emergency situation. Again, this component combines with other system aspects for full security.
2. Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity
Retail businesses are quickly pivoting to adjust to an evolving consumer market. Many retail stores respond by stepping up digital transformation to include e-commerce options, wireless and cloud-based solutions, and online customer experiences. The benefit is the appeal to customers and ease of use, but it can come at a cost. The biggest costs include the hacking, phishing, ransomware, and data breach risks that come with technology.
Innovative Technology. First, make sure you use products that have safeguards in place to protect against attacks. Next, don't use banned video surveillance cameras and ask providers what measures their products and software include for protection. Finally, cloud-based solutions generally mean you don't have to contend with housing hardware on-site or updating firmware and other system updates.
Third-Party Security Integrators and Cybersecurity Support. Look for security integrators who can combine multiple operational and security components into a single platform. Explore cybersecurity support to protect against data breaches and other vulnerabilities. Finally, consider a cybersecurity insurance policy to give you some coverage in case an event occurs. Finally, keep in mind that physical security and IT security are beginning to converge and expect that to continue. Shoot for system interoperability as much as you can.
Incident Response Plans. Don't wait for something to happen. Draft, document, practice, and test your incident response plans. Perform tests, secret shopping events, and audits to measure performance to plan. If and when something happens, you'll be better positioned to execute your plan successfully.
3. Lawsuits & Litigation
We live in a litigious society and it has been that way for quite some time. Retail stores experience liability claims such as slips and falls, which are still one of the biggest issues in safety and security in retail. In addition, disgruntled employees sometimes file frivolous suits, which must be investigated and addressed. Of course, legitimate things happen, too. In any event, retail store owners should be prepared, proactive, and measured in their approach.
Video Surveillance.Security cameras, whether on-premise or cloud-based, can be a life-saver in these situations. Fortunately, today's technology makes searching footage fast and easy. Case management and analytics speed up the process and pull together data points from multiple areas to give you what you need when you need it.
System Integrations. Operating and security system integrations make life easier when it comes to gathering and reporting data in a timely manner. After all, you want to be focused on your retail business, not litigation and regulation.
Documentation. If you've ever fired an employee, been sued, or prosecuted a shoplifter, you know that documentation is important. Capture everything you can, make note of conversations, action plans, and communications, and retain the information according to record retention policies.
Legal Representation. Get an attorney on retainer if you don't have one already. Most business owners require this.
Protect Your Business, Product, and Customers
Retail security issues continue to evolve but you can proactively mitigate and respond to them with today's robust security solutions. The best retail security solution is one that's customized to meet your specific needs and addresses the biggest threats. If you have questions about security issues, solutions, security technology, or integrations, contact ITech Digital at (866) 733-6673. We serve retail customers, restaurants, and warehouses & commercial buildings in Indianapolis and across the continental U.S. Discover what our customers have to say about working with us. Then, schedule a free site survey with a security professional or email us with questions.