Retail Fraud 2014: Yes, It’s an Event, Not Another Breach
This is the biggest show in the UK for physical and technical fraud protection within the retail and online industries and AirTight was invited to attend for the first time, an invite we accepted gladly as we can offer secure, PCI compliant Wi-Fi which ultimately offers brand protection, so a win-win for all!
In what turned out to be a very secretive show, the majority of the audience we met protected their identity, something I haven’t experienced before. This wasn’t just the hiding of the delegate badge, but a refusal to give out names of any kind or any detail about their interests or concerns. On further questioning it transpired that some of the institutions and organisations in attendance did not want to acknowledge that they had a retail fraud issue and that their organisations couldn’t be seen attending as this by default meant they possibly had an issue! Our stand had steady traffic throughout the day with leading professionals (we guess!) from various law enforcement agencies, technology companies trying to offer an solution to their client base, high street food and fashion retailers and national coffee shops.
Brand Protection is Key
The discussions centered on what made AirTight different and what the benefit would be of deploying AirTight Wi-Fi over the usual suspects in the Wi-Fi arena. In this scenario, it is all about the brand protection. If the client’s customer’s device is compromised whilst surfing the internet on their guest Wi-Fi, nobody blames the Wi-Fi vendor. They blame the coffee shop or the furniture store. So by deploying Wi-Fi that incorporates our unique patented Marker Packet technology, they can mitigate the risks and ensure happy surfing! Seriously, you don’t want to be the CEO of an international retail brand and appear on the front page of the Times or Telegraph for the wrong reasons.
According to the Centre for Retail Research in the UK, retail crime losses in the UK for the twelve-months 2012-13 were £4,699 million (6.8% higher than in 2011). This figure does not take into account the cost of security, which is close on another £1 billion. So we are talking about a multi billion pound industry just in the UK.
This was validated by Tony Sales, a reformed Fraudster and Hacker who spent several years at Her Majesty’s Pleasure (aka prison) for defrauding retailers, finance houses and financial institutions out of £30m through false identities, credit cards and other fraudulent schemes including Wi-Fi based hacks. Tony was in attendance at the show giving his views and experience and spent a long time on our stand (he was videoed by ITN speaking with our very own Allen Walker) as he is one who can certainly see the benefits of AirTight’s security.
A short but sweet event that left our clients eager to learn and to make the world a safer place for coffee and surfing the web!