Hardware Retailing

SEP 2016

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HR: How does cybersecurity work? Embry: The easiest way for me to describe it would be the process of protecting data through any conduit that can be compromised and then turned around to financially destroy or hurt companies and/or individuals. Some examples of that would be email servers, point-of-sale systems and e-commerce programs. But, primarily it's focused on protecting every aspect of the physical hardware, software and networks that you utilize, whether it's a computer or a mobile phone or a POS terminal, and the software that resides in those devices, including mobile apps, shopping carts, back-office PCs or the POS systems, and all the associated networks that interconnect to make them work. HR: How can a small business protect itself from data stealing at the point of sale? Litchford: Again, when you look at the Targets and Home Depots and down to even some of your midtier smaller guys, they're putting in P2P (point-to-point) encryption. Small guys can do that, too. It's not something only a large retailer can do. It's just an expense that they would have to take on. So when the smaller retailers are negotiating with their payment processors, our recommendation would be that they also look at encryption and back-end tokenization. HR: How can a retailer and employees be cautious about external emails when they're working with outside vendors and customers? Litchford: That's what makes it so hard, right? Because a lot of these phishing schemes now fake being an invoice or something like that. As an accounts receivable person, you naturally click on it and see what it is. You have to just not click on stuff via muscle memory, but really pause and think through, "OK, is this an invoice I was expecting? Does it look like one of the vendors I do business with?" Pick up the phone and call. I was getting emails from American Express fraud. "Please call us right away," and it gave a number to call. I pull out my credit card and call the number on the back. And American Express says, "No. We're not trying to contact you at all." I think you just have to be very suspicious in this day and age.

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