IT is increasingly redefining relationships in retail, compelling companies to rethink almost every aspect of their operations and pushing them to come up with novel, innovative ways to accommodate customers. But as they wade deeper into the digital waters, retailers will need to look at the larger picture, contemplating a new set of interconnected risks and developing approaches to anticipate and manage those risks as well as capitalize on the opportunities they may bring while meeting increasing regulation and compliance requirements in the payment card industry.
Effective IT risk management for maintaining privacy and data protection requires the development of a detailed risk management plan to safeguard sensitive company and consumer data, especially in today’s evolving business landscape. Having the proper strategy in place can shift a retailer from a reactive posture to a proactive one and ensure that IT security control investments are properly supported, and balanced by the right systems, processes and people. Retail & consumer companies that take a more proactive approach to IT risk management can minimize security breaches and financial losses and protect their company’s reputation and core brand equity.
When risk management coordination is effective, the result is a seamless interplay of sense-and-respond activities that free up the organization to focus on the significant opportunities presented by the unfolding digital landscape.
What retailers are doing and are not doing to protect brand equity by maintaining consumer trust and confidence and how that confidence erosion affects consumer buying patterns.
2013 has been affectionately termed “the year of the retailer breach,” with comprehensive statistical data being returned that shows a sharp transition from geopolitical attacks to large-scale attacks on payment card systems. A fundamental shift is occurring where threats are shifting from geopolitical actors to two primary threats:
Our client’s decision makers know the challenges facing the retail and wholesale sectors. From the effects of changes in demographics and lifestyle trends, to the impact of deflation, industry consolidation, constantly changing regulatory and compliance requirements, and globalization. Couple those changes with the exponential increase in number of cyber-attacks causing weak consumer sentiment, lower store traffic, and a subsequent Wall Street response in lower EPS guidance by retailers hit by data breaches. Our retail partners trust us for deep industry knowledge in enterprise risk management that combines an understanding of the operational risks, technology issues, and regulatory requirements they face on a daily basis.
Our clients include grocery chains, general merchandise stores, apparel retailers, convenience stores, drug chains, luxury retailers, restaurants, hotels, specialty retailers, distributors, and e-tailers. Our insights, knowledge, and experience gleaned from our retail practice’s industry focus helps our clients address their biggest challenges while seizing new technological advances that open up new opportunities and access to consumers.
We are transforming the global retail company who has created a false sense of security, perhaps even complacency, resulting from their investments in non-agile risk management tools aimed at protecting a perimeter no longer there and processes they have relied on for years.
Over the past two decades, Brier & Thorn’s consultants have completed numerous projects globally in the retail sector to help retailers tackle their toughest risk management and information security challenges.
Information security systems in the retail and consumer market are often designed to meet minimum levels of regulatory or industry compliance, rather than to identify the risks to the business and provide appropriate safeguards. As a consequence, many retailers address their cyber security threats reactively, adapting to threats as they are identified in a endless game of “whack-a-mole.”
As an alternative, we work with our clients to design an appropriate IT risk management program as one of many components of the retail company’s overall business risk environment that feeds into its broader enterprise risk management framework. Our clients treat IT risks like other serious business risk issues facing retailers as an inevitable cost of doing business in today’s global digital marketplace.
Our consultants work with clients to help the executive leadership team and IT leaders anticipate, create, and manage change – translating it into true value for the business by:
In our approach with our global retail clients, we help answer:
Our consultants will develop an executive leadership team capability responsible for leading the transformation from the status quo of today’s security program to one of a small but important part of a much broader enterprise risk management plan.
To avoid potential damage to a retailers bottom line, reputation, brand, and intellectual property, the executive leadership team will be groomed to take ownership of IT risk. Specifically, the collaboration up front of understanding how the company will defend against and respond to IT risks, and what it will take to make them resilient to those threats and threat scenarios.
To make this adjustment, our clients are transforming their organizations from ones centered on security and technology to one that combines these with business management, risk disciplines, and risk management. Therefore, our engagements begin with a transformation of the executive leadership team to also take the lead in setting the proper tone and structure for its enterprise risk management program. Our C-suite clients recognize the importance and nature of mitigating cyber risk as a necessary and fundamental part of the retail company’s ongoing success. It ensures that an IT risk management program designed by our firm is in place to manage IT risks that reduces potential harm to their business, brand, and consumer confidence.
Management of these IT risks is directed from business-operations leadership at every level that can commit and command the resources required to address and respond to these challenges in an enterprise playbook designed, built, tested, and implemented by our firm.
This simple 6-step plan, distinctive to our firm lays out:
We share our clients’ ambitions working to understand their reality and deliver true results – focusing on strategic decisions and practical actions. We align our incentives with our clients’ objectives so they know we’re in this together as a closely-held partnership.
Foot Locker’s executive leadership team considers consumer confidence of its customers and its own brand equity paramount to its business. Learn how Foot Locker addressed the risk to its global attack surface through the help of Brier & Thorn’s threat management services.