Retail Security Should Extend Beyond Store
Companies also need to control the network activity of internal users, as much to protect the company from well intentioned but damaging activities as it is to guard against the malicious intentions of employees and ex-employees. Such activities can severely affect network performance and can have enormous repercussions on a company’s integrity and reputation.
One of the most overlooked features of corporate network guidelines is communicating the rules governing the use of corporate networks and its communications. While it may seem obvious that company conversations between departments follow certain rules, these rules are rarely defined and frequently broken. The fallout of such breaches is usually minor and correctable. But without enforceable protocols, the chance of recurring infractions can accumulate. While it may seem that the two are unrelated, the impact of poor internal communications can wipe out the goals of computer security practices. If the aim within a company is to insure data integrity and compartmentalize data within the appropriate departments, all those efforts are negated by poorly defined rules surrounding e-mail forwarding, telephone communications and employee conversations. It is simply not enough for companies to operate on the common-sense rules often implied but never set in stone. It was this weakness that lead to the implementation of some of the SOX rules in the first place—and a company regardless of its size should feel compelled to establish and enforce both internal and external communications guidelines.
That a chain is only as strong as its weakest link applies to retailers and distributors. The fallout from bad publicity surrounding poor corporate governance can have a significant impact on a consumer’s choice of product, store they shop and after market service and support they choose. Given the sophisticated computer systems that define retail today, it is essential for all members of the supply chain to know that the other is adhering to and enforcing similar principles.