The retail omni market must be cognizant of data security requirements and especially personally identifiable information (PII) that can put consumer identities at risk.  In the fast moving and quickly changing omni market environment coupled with hacker advances in technology to mine and extract consumer data for identity theft purposes it can be very easy to overlook and fall behind in data security requirements.  Any type of breach can cause consumers to lose confidence in the retailer’s site and be extremely damaging to business. Any loss in consumer confidence can be much more damaging to a retailer and also the retailer’s leadership than any failure to maintain pace with consumer demands in the omni market. 

 

Data security in the fast paced world of the retail omni market can be easy to overlook and in addition to this the retailer could go for a long period of time without an incident.  The greatest risk to data security is compliance and loss of focus on the risk. The abilities of hackers is continuously improving and the attacks growing in sophistication and this only increases the requirements for retailers to maintained a heightened awareness and also heightened tools to monitor and rebuff any attacks.  While it may be very cumbersome to maintain this type of awareness and capabilities to monitor and rebuff attacks this is also much more cost efficient in the long run than any recovery activities could ever be.

 

Data security must be a continuous and early focus in order to protect the retailer from the results of a breach.  A breach of any nature could not only seriously damage the confidence of consumers but more importantly could and would damage the viability through loss of business and fines to the retailer up to and including putting the retailer out of business.  Consumers and government agencies are much more aware of the damages that can be caused by data security breaches and this translates into a dramatic increase in requirements for retailers to protect consumer personally identifiable information. 

 

Retailers walk a fine line with data security between protecting the consumers’ data and utilizing consumer shopping and purchasing practices to improve the consumer experience.  This requires a great deal of focus and awareness of the requirements in order to maintain the appropriate level of protection. Retailers must be ever vigilant for potential breaches and this vigilance extends to the retailer employees and leadership.  Retailers must act under the assumption that they are under continuous attack from outside entities and must maintain a very high level of awareness and vigilance to stop any potential attacks to protect the consumer information with which they are entrusted.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience? Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas. How can you support these continuously changing requirements?