Cyber security and the smaller organizations ……………..what the big guys are doing!

1. Motivated Threat Actors. The number and sophistication of cyber threats will continue to increase exponentially. Fueled by both geopolitics and economic incentives, international (and often state-sponsored) criminal organizations will escalate their development of offensive cyber capabilities.

2. Redefining the Defense. The demands of cybersecurity are fundamentally changing IT. Cyber risk management and security compliance will take an equal weight to other design criteria like functionality, capacity and performance. Financial ROIs will be balanced by a new understanding of risk exposure for sub-par solutions.

3. Three Heads versus One. In large organizations, there are technical roles that require the knowledge and experience of CIOs, CTOs and CISOs. While some have predicted the death of the CIO role, we see instead a balancing of responsibility between three peers.

4. Investments Will Increase. In the face of pernicious new threats, the cost of cybersecurity and risk management will remain on track to double over the next three years.

5. New Fronts. The expansion of mobility, cloud computing, bring your own device (BYOD) policies, and the Internet of Things will provide new (and previously unforeseen) opportunities for cybercrime, cyberwarfare and cyberterrorism.

6. Universal Monitoring. As a result of cyber-incidents, every organization (or person) will be using some form of continuous monitoring service (threat, scanning, identity or credit). These will be legislated, mandated by financials institutions or insurers or acquired on their own behalf.

7. Business Leadership on Policy Development. Executive leadership will lead to further development and maturation of standards across private sector and governmental organizations. This approach to security and cyber risk management will reduce the potential for “unforeseen” damage from cyberattacks, cyberwarfare and cyberterrorism.

8. New Threat Detection and Response Technologies. There will be an increased use of crowdsourcing, machine intelligence, and cognitive/advanced analytics to detect and stay ahead of threats. Bounties for catching bad actors and advanced algorithmics will help the “good guys” identify and stay ahead of the hordes of malicious players.

9. Improved Security. New and better applications of authentication, EMV, encryption and tokenized solutions will increase the security of payments and other personal and confidential information. Apple Pay and other next-generation solutions will overcome anti-NFC inertia and lead to increasing adoption of mobile-based security technologies for both retail payment and other applications, such as healthcare, where critical and confidential information is exchanged.

10. Back to Offense. We will see the beginnings of a shift from cyber-defense to cyber-offense. From attempting to build impenetrable systems, to building systems that make it possible to identify attackers and provide the means to prosecute, frustrate or delay them.

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Theft and Fraud in manufacturing industries

Fraud is an increasing risk in an organization’s risk portfolio that must be addressed.  Manufacturing industry leaders need to ensure that there are program components in place in order to detect and stop this from occurring at their facilities.  Losses due to theft and fraud nationally will contribute to losses in the billions of dollars on an annual basis.  Review and follow up in the following areas is imperative:

Fraud Risk Management Program Elements

  • Defined roles and responsibilities
  • Commitment to the program from the top down
  • Fraud awareness
  • Affirmation process
  • Conflicts disclosure
  • Fraud risk assessment
  • Reporting procedures and whistleblower protection
  • Investigative process
  • Corrective action
  • Quality Assurance
  • Continuous monitoring

It is equally imperative that if an organization is not familiar with implementing a program, they get the required expertise in order to customize one for their needs. Costs for implementing such a program will paid for in the future by savings that are realized and in increased profits.

Newsletters are a great way to get information out!

Several have asked how I communicate to my clients, or potential customers on a regular basis.  Besides the standard website, Facebook, Twitter and blog posts, I also utilize monthly newsletters.  I have found that the upside to newsletters is that you share and provide information to your selected audience on a consistent basis.  Here are some other key benefits to publish a monthly letter to those that you partner with:

Benefit #1: An e-Newsletter enhances your company’s reputation and increases lead generation.

Benefit #2: An e-Newsletter increases the lifetime value of your clients.

Benefit #3: An e-Newsletter is a very cost-efficient and cost-effective communication channel with your clients.

Benefit #4: An e-Newsletter leverages your marketing efforts.

Benefit #5: An e-Newsletter provides instantaneous trackable results.

Benefit #6: An e-Newsletter opens the opportunity for your clients to easily and immediately interact with you and for you to promote dialog with your clients.

Benefit #7: An e-Newsletter provides a higher response rate because it is being sent to a more receptive audience.

Benefit #8: An e-Newsletter is much more cost efficient than a printed newsletter because of the significant savings in time, printing and mailing costs.

Now, check our our monthly e-newsletter – August 2015

Thanks for reading!

SHOPLIFTING 101

The detection, apprehension, and prevention of shoplifting is an important responsibility for many retail personnel. With the retail environment rapidly evolving due to e-commerce and globalization of the economy, the focus on shoplifting has increased with many retailers. Controlling expenses is important in retail operations.

One important expense is called “shrink”. Shrink is the difference between recorded and actual inventory. Retail shrink is generally caused by internal theft (employee theft), external theft (shoplifting) and administrative error (loss due to paperwork and human error). Internal theft and administrative error are addressed through training, auditing, and loss prevention personnel. Shoplifting is addressed through the training, policies, and procedures implemented by store personnel. Proper shoplifting policies and procedures should provide for the safety of customers, employees and shoplifters.

Many retailers focus their shoplifting training on deterrence instead of apprehension, especially retailers without loss prevention personnel. Deterrence measures focus on implementing customer service by identifying and interacting with suspicious shoppers. This is done by approaching the customers and engaging them in conversation that is directed towards proper customer service. An example would be a store employee approaching a customer and saying: “I noticed you were looking at the new shirts; we have some matching ties I’d like to show you”. Some retailers without loss prevention associates have policies and procedures that state only a manager or supervisor can stop and detain a person for shoplifting. Some other retailers may not allow the apprehension of shoplifters. Larger stores usually have loss prevention personnel.

Shoplifting laws allow retailers to stop and detain a person who has stolen merchandise. Properly stopping a patron for shoplifting requires:

  1. The employee must see the customer enter the area where the subject item is displayed.
  2. The employee must see the customer select the item.
  3. The employee must see the customer conceal, carry, push, or pull the item from its location.
  4. The employee must maintain constant and uninterrupted observation of the customer from the original location of the item to the point of detention.
  5. The employee must see that the customer failed to pay for the item.
  6. The employee must approach the shoplifter outside the store or after the last point of sale. This may be identified by a governmental entity.

Retail employees can use reasonable force in the apprehension of a shoplifter, and may pursue shoplifters. Some retailers specifically define when force can be used and may prohibit pursuits. The use of handcuffs should be addressed by the retailer and proper training of those employees who may use them. Some retailers alert other company stores with a description of the shoplifter and the product. This is because shoplifters often return the product for a cash refund or a gift card.

Retailers should have policies and procedures regarding the disposition of detained shoplifters. Retailers can notify the police, or recover the merchandise and release the shoplifter. Issuance of a trespass notice is sometimes part of the policies and procedures of the retailer. If the decision is made to notify the police, the police should be contacted within a reasonable period of time. The detention of a shoplifter should be for a reasonable length of time. Searching a shoplifter for weapons and recovering the stolen item(s) should be done in a reasonable manner. Notification of the police, detention of a shoplifter, and searching a shoplifter should be in compliance with the applicable governmental entity. A report should be done for all detentions regardless of the final disposition.

Civil demand statutes in many states allow stores to recover monetary damages in addition to either of the two aforementioned custodial outcomes. The retailer’s policies should identify when a civil demand is implemented.

By properly addressing shoplifting incidents, a retailer can effectively manage that portion of shrink that is caused by shoplifters and provide good customer service at the same time. Proper policies and procedures, and adequate training and management of personnel regarding those policies and procedures ensure a reasonable response to shoplifting incidents.

Podcasts ……….. an interesting way to gain information

Recently I have been looking for new ways to drive new traffic to our website – http://www.lpsconsulting.org, along with our Facebook and Twitter pages, etc.  With that, I discovered podcasting …….. nothing new I realize, but it is to me.  I soon discovered that if you have a question on anything, more than likely there is a podcast somewhere that was published by a podcaster on that subject.

I then found Rachel Rofe – http://www.rachelrofe.com, who puts out some highly inventive podcasts with great information as well.  Her podcasts range in a broad spectrum of information, but tend to usually stay focused on business or motivational, self help subjects.

One of her latest podcasts proved to be so helpful, I wanted to take a moment to share it with you today – “55 ways to drive more traffic to your website”. Hopefully you will also find this beneficial as well.  I found several of the ideas listed to be very innovative.  A PDF copy of this can be found on her site – http://www.rachelrofe.com.  If you find insight and would like to share a favorite podcaster that you follow, please comment and let me know!

Thanks – have a great day!

Hello ………. Welcome to our blog

I believe that this will be the first official blog that actually posts to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Our website – http://www.lpsconsulting.org also has a “connect” button so that visitors can also access the blog content as well.

We hope that you find the information that is presented to be helpful, insightful and useful in your organization.  Please respond with comments or recommendations, we love to communicate with our followers.

The not so SKINNY on business today!

Today, businesses face many different factors that can cause them headaches. One such issue is losses due to employee theft and fraud.  Organizations that have employees, sell product / merchandise and have any sort of inventory face this reality everyday.  It is imperative that every business leader come to grips with these face to face, or suffer the consequences.

Here are some staggering facts that leaders need to know:

  • Businesses lose an estimated $600 billion each year in the U.S. due to theft.
  • It is estimated that these losses total $3.5 trillion worldwide each year.
  • 1/3 of all small business filing bankruptcy do so because of theft and fraud.
  • 80% of all employees will steal from an employer at least once in their life.
  • The average loss is $43k up to $106k, before that person is ever caught
  • Only 1 in 30 will ever GET caught!

Potential dishonest employees look for things where they work – lack of controls in the workplace, opportunity and rationalization of why they should steal from their employer.  This typically is the basis for when someone begins to take advantage in the workplace.  Get educated today!