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Risks Faced by Retailers

Question:

Discuss about the Retail Industries and risks in Information Security.

The following report discusses about the risks and threats faced in the retail industry. The various aspects to be covered in this report include audits, disaster recovery, controls, and business continuity operations. The report also includes the various tools and techniques used for operations in these aspects. Moreover, the analysis of the report discusses about the various mitigation procedures to be applied in this sector as well.

Retail is termed as the sales made on purchase of goods by the customers. This basically done for consumption which can be done by purchasing on their stores, online stores, catalogs or by using mobile phones or emails. The transaction on the retailing services are usually made at the end of the supply and production chain of the manufacturing company (Lee & Choi, 2013). The manufacturers are responsible for selling products to the retailers in large amounts. The retailers then sell the products to customers. Due to this, the retailers are the main connection links between the manufacturers and the customers.

There are various risks that the retailers face which can lead to the disruption in their businesses. The first risk is the disruption in the supply chain production. The changes in the production level of the manufacturers can lead to shortage of products which will make the retailers lose business (Machek, 2012). Thus, reliance on only one primary manufacturer for retailing operations is a vulnerability that is to be considered.

The next risk is the presence of faulty products. Due to the large number of products coming to the retailers, the presence of faulty nature in them can lead to less profit made. This also affects the reputation level of the retailer.

In addition, risks in information security are another factor which can have grave impacts on the operations. As the retail business is largely dependent on the communications among the various aspects like logistics or marketing (Laudon & Traver, 2013). In addition, the online portion of the retail business can also experience failures which pose additional risks.


The security audit is another portion of the retailing services where risks are seen. As most of the retail companies have in house customized systems for recording various auditing processes, the presence of flaws is evident. The main reason for failure in operations is the lack of insights and inaccurate data collection methods. When the number of products increases to a large extent, errors are evident in it.

Tools and Techniques Used in Retailing

The risks in disaster recovery plans are also another factor. The presence of a disaster recovery plan is not addressed by most of the companies. The lack of a site investigation and inadequate resources are another aspect where risks are present.

The security risks in the retail industry are another factor of concern which can affect the entire business operations. The presence of malwares or viruses in the network of the retail industry can lead to grave impacts. This can lead to the systems in the network to lose their operations. In addition, these viruses are also very effective for stealing the information present in the databases (Fischer, Halibozek & Walters, 2012). This is a form of phishing attack which is used to get access to the company information. In addition, the breaches in the system are another case for the company to lose their business. As the customers involved with the company will lose their faith from them and this will surely affect the profit acquisition rate. In addition, the DDoS attacks in any system affects the network and the transport layer of the OSI model. Moreover, the application based DDoS attacks affects the application layer of the OSI model.

Lastly, business continuity risks involve the lack of management for a bigger infrastructure. In addition, changes in the climatic conditions can serve as a setback for the employees. This in turn will reduce the profit made by the retail company.

Likelihood

Consequences

Insignificant

Minor

Moderate

Major

Catastrophic

Almost certain

Disruption in the supply chain

Security risks

Likely

Information security risks

Moderate

Faulty products

Business continuity risks

Disaster recovery

Unlikely

Security audits

Rare

             

This section of the report discusses about the various tools and techniques used by the retail companies to analyze and collect data from their inventory of products. The most popular method for recording the number of products and their shipment records are the presence of a barcode scanner (Ashworth, 2012). This helps to keep the records of all the products coming and going out from the retail warehouse. In addition, the barcode scanner equipment automatically stores the information of these products directly into the company database.

The retailers need to analyze the faulty products. In case the product has a faulty nature, the retailer must arrange for replacement of the product. This can be done by arranging for a replacement of the products from the manufacturer. To keep records of the goods, the retailer must keep track of the product by doing online support with the customers.

The retailing operation is another aspect which is to be maintained by the authorities. This includes keeping tracks of all the ongoing operations in the service which includes customer support, logistics, marketing and warehouse handling. All these aspects need to be kept in a working condition and the concerned authorities need to keep track of them. This can be done by the adoption of commercial software solution or by developing in-house applications. These applications keep track of the various operations in the company (Saricam, Aksoy & Kalaoglu, 2012). This helps the responsible authorities to successfully analyze the operations and work accordingly.

Mitigation Techniques and Procedures


The disaster recovery plans are a pre-requisite for the various operations in the retailing company. In case of a disaster occurrence in the company, the recovered solutions can be loaded into the new systems which will help in the setting up of the business in a very little time. This can be done by the application of cloud solutions in the physical architecture of the company or organization involved. The cloud solutions enable a company to backup their data pertaining to a certain date to the cloud servers. In case of the disaster strike in the company, the backed up solutions can be downloaded in the new systems and the business will be operational without the presence of delay.

The security risks are also to be addressed by the retail sectors to stay in business for a long time. The various tools and techniques used by the retail companies are the antivirus programs. These helps in analyzing the viruses and malwares present in the system. The commercial antivirus programs are also effective for analyzing the presence of any phishing attempts made. In addition, the presence of various authentication processes are also used by the companies to keep access levels updated (Zhao & Zhao, 2012)). This helps to reference the application layer security and helps to control them. In addition, presence of firewall techniques can help to reference the network and transport layer security.

The business continuity plans are important for any companies or organizations to keep track of the performance checklist and make changes accordingly. This helps the company to keep a list of the past activities as well as the future activities to be done. In addition, the main benefits of such applications are the provisions for a risk based solutions which helps in the future planning or execution of the activities. The applications of certain commercial software can help to manage such processes. The analysis and metrics for the activities can be effectively done by this software. It can also reference the various solutions that are to be integrated into the business like the presence of critical process management or incident management for effective business continuity. Moreover, the analysis of the various parameters is also provided in the dashboard of the software.

Fig: Logical diagram

(Source: Created by the author)

The use of various tools and techniques can help to mitigate the risks present in the system. The use of a barcode scanner in the retail services helps to address the security policies of the industry. This helps to keep the records of all the products coming and going out from the retail warehouse. In addition, the barcode scanner equipment automatically stores the information of these products directly into the company database (Mukherji, 2012). This in turn helps the company or organization to keep track of their inventory and address the requirements accordingly. The increase in visibility is the main advantage of its use. In addition, the efficiency of operations is also achieved as real-time monitoring is provided from the use of barcode scanners. The last benefit is that this is a very cost effective solution to apply in the business.

Conclusion

The retailers need to analyze the faulty products. In case the product has a faulty nature, the retailer must arrange for replacement of the product. This can be done by arranging for a replacement of the products from the manufacturer. This can be done by providing more offers which helps in retaining the customer relationships. The application of a refund or replacement policy is to stay in place for mitigating the risks in products policy.


The retailing operation is another aspect which is to be maintained by the authorities. This includes keeping tracks of all the ongoing operations in the service which includes customer support, logistics, marketing and warehouse handling. All these aspects need to be kept in a working condition and the concerned authorities need to keep track of them. This can be done by the adoption of commercial software solution or by developing in-house applications. This commercial software helps in analyzing various sales performances like the conversion metrics, engagement metrics, employee management, inventory management and tracking of shipments (Mukherji, 2012). This helps to mitigate the operational risks of the industry and ensure successful business continuity.

In case of a disaster occurrence in the company, the recovered solutions can be loaded into the new systems which will help in the setting up of the business in a very little time. This can be done by the application of cloud solutions in the physical architecture of the company or organization involved. The cloud solutions enable a company to backup their data pertaining to a certain date to the cloud servers. The most important benefit of the cloud solutions is that the cloud solutions can help businesses without the need of any physical hardware. This helps in a very fast method of business operations. In addition, the cloud security features are also another factor that accounts for better risk mitigation.

The application of antivirus programs helps in analyzing the viruses and malwares present in the system. The commercial antivirus programs are also effective for analyzing the presence of any phishing attempts made (Gill, 2014). In addition, the presence of various authentication processes are also used by the companies to keep access levels updated. This helps to reference the application layer security and helps to control them. Moreover, presence of firewall techniques can help to reference the network and transport layer security. These applications of security enhancements in the retail company can definitely help to mitigate the presence of risks in the systems.


Lastly, the applications of certain commercial software can help to manage the business continuity processes. The analysis and metrics for the activities can be effectively done by this software ("iPad POS for Retail", 2017). It can also reference the various solutions that are to be integrated into the business like the presence of critical process management or incident management for effective business continuity. Moreover, the analysis of the various parameters is also provided in the dashboard of the software.

Conclusion:

Thus, it can be concluded from the analysis made from the report that the retail services are a very vulnerable aspect and the various companies applying for the retail operations need to analyze the specific requirements of the operations. This includes both the communication aspects as well as the non-functional requirements. The various security based issues pertaining to the operations of the retail services are also discussed in this analysis. Additionally, the report also includes the analysis of the various tools to be used for addressing the various risks that are faced in the retail services.  Furthermore, the mitigation tools to be used for referencing the risks on the retail operations are also depicted in this analysis.

References:

Agrawal, N., & Smith, S. A. (Eds.). (2015). Retail supply chain management: quantitative models and empirical studies (Vol. 223). Springer.

Ashworth, C. J. (2012). Marketing and organisational development in e-SMEs: understanding survival and sustainability in growth-oriented and comfort-zone pure-play enterprises in the fashion retail industry. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 8(2), 165-201.

Chen, C. Y., & Yang, C. F. (2012). The impact of spiritual leadership on organizational citizenship behavior: A multi-sample analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 105(1), 107-114.

Fischer, R., Halibozek, E. P., & Walters, D. (2012). Introduction to security. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Gill, M. (Ed.). (2014). The handbook of security. Palgrave Macmillan.

iPad POS for Retail. (2017). Bindo. Retrieved 4 October 2017, from https://bindopos.com/en

Laudon, K. C., & Traver, C. G. (2013). E-commerce. Pearson.

Lee, S., & Choi, W. S. (2013). A multi-industry bankruptcy prediction model using back-propagation neural network and multivariate discriminant analysis. Expert Systems with Applications, 40(8), 2941-2946.

Machek, M. (2012). Retail market structure development in Central Europe. Central European Business Review, 1(3), 22.

Madan, M., & Kumari, S. (2012). Determinants of retail customer satisfaction: A study of organised retail outlets in Delhi. Delhi Business Review, 13(1), 117-126.

Mukherji, S. (2012). A framework for managing customer knowledge in retail industry. IIMB Management Review, 24(2), 95-103.

Pantano, E. (2014). Innovation drivers in retail industry. International Journal of Information Management, 34(3), 344-350.

Rezaei, J., Fahim, P. B., & Tavasszy, L. (2014). Supplier selection in the airline retail industry using a funnel methodology: Conjunctive screening method and fuzzy AHP. Expert Systems with Applications, 41(18), 8165-8179.

Saricam, C., Aksoy, A., & Kalaoglu, F. (2012). Determination of the priorities of customer requirements and quality in apparel retail industry. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(16).

Zhao, J. J., & Zhao, S. Y. (2012). Retail e-commerce security status among Fortune 500 corporations. Journal of Education for Business, 87(3), 136-144.

Zheng, F. (2016). Spatial competition and preemptive entry in the discount retail industry.

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