Security has changed dramatically over the years, as it
used to simply be protecting against theft and fraud. Now it
encompasses so many aspects including employee security
and the whole spectrum of cybersecurity, which has so many
As technology improves, you have the option to improve
security. We’ve gone to cameras, and we continue to add
them as needs arise and as we discover new “hiding areas”
that might result in some type of pilferage. Cameras have
been big.
We also changed our credit card readers to the new EMV
system. It reads credit cards that have a chip in them. It’s
been a big expenditure and cost, about $1,000 per reader,
and between our two facilities we ordered 16 readers.
Cyber crime is a concern: hacked computers, data breaches,
etc. Those were not concerns 20 years ago. On the other
side, shoplifting is still pretty much the same threat as is
employee theft.
From an operations perspective, the key is to have your
boots on the ground keeping an eye out for strange activity.
Like many yards, we have an older facility that we jerry-rigged
a security system for. With our current expansion plan, we
will be adding a new hardwired system that will keep 100%
of the yard under surveillance. Key cameras will be HD,
allowing us to collect more data.
From a technology perspective it is about having the
right team in place to keep up with online attacks. I have seen
attempts to hack into our system, but having a hosted system
and using credit card “tokens” have limited our exposure.
The crooks are getting much more sophisticated and use
strategies that, on the surface, look legit but in fact are
not. We get numerous requests over the Internet to ship
products, usually UPS, to a destination paid for by a credit
card that presumably would be legit at the time of sale but is
likely stolen.
Q:What are you finding to be the biggest security threats to your
business these days and what steps have you taken to prevent them?
I think the biggest security threats today are in the
area of cybersecurity. We have to guard against data theft,
network infiltration, and maintaining and ensuring things
like PCI compliance with the credit cards. In addition to
“positive pay” through our bank to secure our outgoing
checks/payments, we have implemented advanced anti-virus
software and tremendously tightened down our firewalls
to reduce accessibility from outside exposures. We have
also implemented a content filter and are transitioning to
Microsoft Exchange to further reduce our exposure via email.
I’m more concerned with the cyber threat than I am the
actual physical threat of theft or fraud. We make sure we’re
pretty vigilant of malware and do our best to keep that out
of the organization. I’m most concerned about someone
opening an attachment and crippling our system. We’ve been
pretty lucky as far as that is concerned. Loyal employees and
cameras help keep a close eye on inventory. All those things
together discourage people from taking extra material they
haven’t paid for.
The biggest security threat I think is crime perpetrated by an
employee. I don’t believe we have any right now (hear me
knocking on wood?), but it’s always a concern, as I think it is
difficult to identify until it’s way too late. We read stories in
the paper regularly about this employee or that bookkeeper
embezzling from their employer. We trust the systems and
protocols we have in place to make employee theft an
(continued from pg. 41)
Q: How has the issue of security changed for you over the years?
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