When thinking about convenience store security, only taking measures to protect cash and inventory comes to mind. However, according to the Retail Industry Leaders Association, data security has become a top priority of many American convenience store owners and retailers.
Several bleeding edge c-store chains have implemented advanced convenience store management solutions that allow them to save costs by improving inventory turnover, keeping the right goods to meet consumer demand, and giving them the ability to measure category margin performance more accurately. This has given rise to the trend of retailers making investments in modern retail technology for reinforcing security to safeguard their inventory and consumer data.
Why Secure your C-Store Data
If you take a closer look at information risk management and data security, you will see that a lot can be compromised if information regarding business processes and decisions falls into the wrong hands. However, there are several inventory management and back-office management systems available these days that offer managed or hosted service offerings for protecting critical information and mitigating risks associated with data security.
Securing data related to inventory and sales means that you are keeping price book data comprising of wholesaler retails and costs secured from people who can misuse it, i.e. competitors and others. Additionally, some c-store owners and retailers are contractually bound from sharing any information of the item costs with their suppliers.
If your inventory information is breached or hacked, there is a chance that the malignant party may make changes in the data, which could have a serious impact to forecasting and future planning and lead to significant losses.
What can you do to Fortify your C-Store Data Security?
You probably have an integrated POS system, back-office controllers, and electronic payment system, allowing you to create multiple entry points to your source of inventory data. An important consideration for securing inventory and sales data is to opt for a comprehensive security approach for vendor personnel and third-party suppliers, who have access to your data.
If you have given access to third-parties to your database, you can take the following measures to prepare a robust defense strategy:
Enforce Identity and Access Management standards and make sure you apply them properly to each third-party entity or person accessing your convenience store management system.
Create or utilize an extranet to access and manage your supply chain systems, while separating your other important systems containing sensitive data from it.
Secure your network connections if you have allowed third-party direct access to your convenience store systems.
Why You Need to Go Through All the Hassle
Well, there is a simple reason for it: if anyone can breach your inventory data easily, what do you think they will target next? Your consumer and their credit card data, of course. You need to pay attention to your data security to prevent volume moments, access to your sensitive data, the performance of your newly launched service or product, daypart valleys and peaks, and many other aspects. In any case, if any third party is to access your data with malicious intent, the results can be catastrophic for your c-store business.