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Tech: A False Sense of Security

Posted on 4/15/16 10:00 AM

bigstock-Businessman-hand-pushing-icon--102346985_1.jpgOver a decade ago, my sons moved to Florida with their mom and lived in one of those gated communities that the area is famous for.  The first time I went to visit them, I found myself parked in front of eight-foot gate, staring at a keypad. I called their house and the gate swung open. Later, my twelve-year-old said, “Dad you don’t need to call just use the code—01572.

A few months later, I pulled in and asked him, “what’s that code?”

94381.

“That’s strange,” I mused. “I thought it began with a zero one.”

“Oh, yes, that’s the neighbors code. It’s the one we give out to friends.”

An eight-foot security fence—defeated by a twelve-year-old.

That’s how it goes with security tech.

I remember when we solved the credit card problem with those mag readers. No more paper imprints made on those machines that sounded like they could break a wrist. No more searching default credit card numbers in that monthly book. Tech had saved us time, prevented fraud, and protected the consumer’s card.

Until…

… someone invented the electronic skimmer.

In response, we’ve upped our game with Chip and Pin technology. And for a while…that will work. But, in truth, it’s always a game of cat and mouse. The only real question is, “are we the cat or are we the mouse?”

These past few decades have been a wild tech ride. Automation, integration, high-tech, fast-tech, hand-held tech. The computer in your smart phone is more powerful than the entire system used to pilot Apollo to the moon. But, what we’re learning…or should be learning…is Tech is often a false sense of security.

The real integration, the thing that makes it all come together, is the human factor. The diligence, awareness, and behaviors that ensure our security technology does what it is intended to do. We yearn for “set it and forget it,” but for security technology, that’s not always the best practice.

Today’s Loss Prevention needs technology. We’ve given up the Armies for the Special Forces. But in order for that new paradigm to be effective…special they must be.

To gain the most from our technology, to avoid a disastrous false sense of security, we need to focus on the human element. We need to analyze the on-going functions of our tech, we need to think about the possible work-arounds before the criminals do, and we have to ensure behaviors adapt and promote the techs’ function…not detract and create loop-holes.

The bottom line is that for every resource technology saves us, we must invest an equal amount of brain power into using that technology. Security technology can and does save resources, but we can’t approach it as automation…but rather innovation.

Authored by: Ray Esposito

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Topics: Security, Credit Card Security, Chip and Pin