The holiday season is an important time for many businesses, particularly retailers. Unfortunately, the season presents its own set of corporate security concerns. These range from employee theft, to cyber security, to the effects of blizzards on supply chain security. Additionally, the shift towards e-commerce is continuing to change the way firms protect customer transactions and their brand name.Holiday Security

Due to the approaching holiday season IMG,( a leading corporate security firm, is releasing a list of five security issues businesses should be aware of. These concerns range from physical and cyber security to the integrity of supply chain security.

1. Retail Theft and Corporate Security

During the holidays, one of the most well known corporate security challenges is shoplifting. Many thieves take advantage of the busy holiday shopping season to pilfer goods in the hopes that store employees are too overwhelmed and distracted to notice. According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, $13 billion dollars are stolen from retailers annually. A disproportionate amount of this theft occurs during the holiday shopping season. However shoplifters are not the only culprits. According to the Centre for Retail Research, employees account for 55% of retail thefts, suggesting insiders present a significant corporate security vulnerability.

2. Cyber Security Vulnerabilities and Corporate Security

Every year, an increasing number of Americans are turning to online shopping during the holidays. According to ComScore, online consumers spent $42.3 billion during the 2012 holiday season. Given the fact that retail websites prove lucrative targets, online shopping comes with its own corporate security risks. By manipulating links on unsecure web pages, hackers can redirect customer traffic towards their own websites. The customer, still believing they are on the retailer’s site, is then prompted to enter credit card information. Clearly, cyber security issues such as these can have significant adverse consequences on brand image and customer trust.

3. Porch Theft and Supply Chain Security

While cyber security vulnerabilities present an upstream threat to online shoppers, porch theft represents a downstream danger. Porch theft is when a criminal steals deliveries off of a porch or doorstep. In some cases, thieves follow a UPS or FedEx truck through their entire route, pilfering deliveries along the way. Although this crime takes place on personal property, it still raises corporate security concerns. After all, many customers may feel that that the company, not the criminal, is responsible for the missing package. Ultimately, they may hold the seller responsible, posing reputational challenges to firms conducting online sales.

4. Identity Theft and Corporate Security

According to Equifax, consumers are more vulnerable to identity theft during the holiday season. This is largely because consumers are shopping more, and less likely to spot illegitimate transactions. Additionally, many criminals run scams during the holidays, selling fake products or masquerading as charitable representatives. These types of scams leave consumers vulnerable to identity theft. The reason this is a corporate security concern is because purchases made with stolen identities can result in heated transaction disputes.

5. Inclement Weather and Supply Chain Security

When it comes to supply chain security, winter can pose as serious a challenge as criminals. Ice storms and blizzards often cause supply chain disruptions that delay deliveries and inventory replenishments during a critical time of year. In fact, the Farmer’s Almanac is forecasting a colder and snowier winter for 2013-2014, meaning supply chain disruptions could be more common this holiday season. Given the interlinked nature of national supply chains, weather events in one region could cascade into disruptions in other areas. Firms dependent on just-in-time deliveries should take steps to ensure the integrity of supply chain security.

Learn More About Corporate Security During the Holidays

The holidays are a crucial time of year for many firms, and threats to physical and cyber security can significantly affect profit margins. To learn about the full range of corporate security services offered by IMG, please visit:

For those wishing to learn more about IMGs experience with international supply chain security please follow:

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading firm in corporate security and international supply chain security. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed and robust corporate security planning can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as executive, employee, VIP, and expatriate travel security, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, crisis management planning, and more.


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