Retail IT Checklist: Is your data safe and in compliance?

Retail IT Checklist: Is your data safe and in compliance?

The holiday shopping season is an exciting and busy time for retailers and consumers alike. But cyber criminals targeting sensitive data has become an issue of greater concern in recent years. In late 2013, a security breach left over 40 million Target customers vulnerable to this new breed of cyber attacks.

“Thieves will continue to strike at massive retailers and credit card processors to make a quick sale of the data on underground forums,” said security analyst Graham Cluley to news analysis website CRN.

Turnover of customers, loss of reputation, diminished goodwill, and increased customer acquisition activities are just a few of the consequences of a significant breach of your data security.

The retail industry’s 35 percent probability of data breach occurrence ranks the highest across all industries as the riskiest for business transactions according to a 2014 study by The Ponemon Institute. In order to maintain a trusted and ongoing relationship with consumers, your information systems must be secure for safe transactions.

Government compliance laws do their best to ensure security, but this should merely be viewed as a starting point. To strengthen your defense against security breaches, we’ve put together a checklist of the latest government and industry standards.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, also known as PCI DSS, is the industry baseline in data security for retailers that use debit or credit cards for transactions. Since retailers are required by credit card providers and banks to store card data on their systems for proof of transactions, the twelve requirements for PCI DSS compliance are centered on protecting stored cardholder data:

  1. Protect cardholder data by installing and maintaining a firewall configuration.
  2. Never use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters.
  3. Provide protection for stored cardholder data.
  4. Encrypt transmissions of cardholder data across open, public networks.
  5. Protect all systems against malware and regularly update anti-virus software or programs.
  6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications.
  7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know.
  8. Identify and authenticate access to system components.
  9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data.
  10. All access to network resources and cardholder data must be tracked and monitored.
  11. Regularly test processes and security systems.
  12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel.

For a detailed explanation of each of these points, visit their website at pcisecuritystandards.org.

Offsite Data Backups

Insurance Journal recently reported that there were 296 separate natural disasters in 2013, which accounted for $192 billion in economic losses. It’s extremely important to have your data backed up by an offsite provider. In the event of a fire, flood, or some other catastrophe, having a copy of your data in another physical location will prevent total data loss. Data is can be transported off-site using removable storage media, and there are also a variety of cloud-based solutions for remote data backup.

Network Security

“Ensure that all points of your network — at all the different locations — are protected by good-quality security software, control the use of USB sticks, and deploy Web security filtering to keep employees safe when they’re online,” advises security analyst Graham Cluley. “There are more ways to lose data than via an electronic breach. Misplaced or stolen computers, CDs and USB drives can all be sources of information for criminals.”

Mr. Cluley also recommends that sensitive payment information be properly segmented from the rest of the network, strongly encrypted, and never stored. While most credit card companies and banks require retailers to provide evidence of transactions, IT security analysts advise companies to only retain the minimum amount of data to prove a transaction took place.

 

Be Proactive Rather than Reactive

Whether the result of negligence or malicious criminal activity, data breaches are a serious and costly issue for businesses today. The most popular measures and controls implemented after the data breach are: expanded use of encryption, additional training and awareness activities, manual control practices, and use of security certification or audits.

Of course, it’s far better to take steps to prevent security breaches altogether. Following these recommendations will help keep your data secure and out of the hands of cyber criminals.

Inc. Magazine Honors 2013 Top Job Creators- Impressive Crop of Companies Created 51,327 Jobs

February 7, 2014

The Retail Outsource Garners 2013 Hire Power Award Adding 152 Jobs in just 18 Months

Inc. Magazine ranked The Retail Outsource, LLC of Coral Gables, # 87 nationwide in job creation, #4 in the Retail segment of the Best of the Best Retailers in America, and #7 in Florida among the top 100 Florida Companies, in its 32nd Annual Inc. Hire Power Awards. This prestigious list is an exclusive ranking of the nation’s best job creator companies and represents the most comprehensive listing of leaders by industry, by state.

“I am extremely excited to receive such an important milestone award – especially during such a challenging time for job seekers in America. We feel we are helping to change the national outlook on unemployment and contribute to a sense of optimism in the job market. We have been very fortunate over the past several years to have had the opportunity to grow our customer base which, in turn, allowed us to bring on many more employees.” Brett Beveridge, Founder and CEO, The Retail Outsource.

Details of the remarkable story of job creation by The Retail Outsource Company is available online at http://www.inc.com/profile/the-retail-outsource.

The Retail Outsource Company CEO Beveridge continues, “We strive to staff and manage the highest quality retail representatives, and most knowledgeable outside sales associates. We also provide managed sales teams that support our retail clients and sell anything external, such as B2B, B2C, and more.”

About Us: The Retail Outsource creates a custom sales system including everything from how customers are greeted, operational procedures, all the way through to aftercare programs. TRO specializes in building high performance sales/support teams for retail and outside projects. They also staff and successfully manage retail stores on behalf of their clients. T-ROC and its affiliates provide total sales operation solutions. The Retail Outsource Companies include Mobile Insight – real-time field reporting and business intelligence, The Consumer Insight – full-service customer experience analysis, and SYMBITS – managed IT services. Working in synergy, these four companies form a complete ecosystem: running, managing, and maximizing the productivity of retail efforts.

Brett Beveridge, CEO of The Retail Outsource, Talks Retail Business on Inflight Radio TALK BUSINESS 360

February 7, 2014

An interview with Industry Innovator Brett Beveridge, CEO/Founder of The Retail Outsource
Companies, is airing worldwide on TALK BUSINESS 360 – an inflight radio channel on American Airlines and US Airways featuring current business news for a variety of industries.
 Airing during the heavily traveled 2013/2014 Holiday season, Beveridge’s message has the potential for touching 9+ million business travelers and leisure tourists on 61,352 flights. Retail Store Operators not satisfied with their store performance and seeking positive changes in 2014 will beespecially interested in this interview.

“TRO University is the centerpiece of our business and it combines art and science to provide the best, most experienced sales associates in your stores. We do that by creating a sales system, not   just sales training, for your retail concept. Including everything from how customers are greeted all the way through to aftercare once the sale has been made.” Brett Beveridge, Founder and CEO, The Retail Outsource.

During busy times of year, such as the past Holiday season, retail owners may have been made aware that their current sales POS systems are just not performing efficiently enough to give a positive buying experience. They may be wondering why their sales did not meet their seasonal projections.

With the help of The Retail Outsource Group of Companies, retailers across the US can dramatically optimize retail store operations. (http://theretailoutsource.com/)

In his interview, Beveridge explains that the mission of the Retail Outsource is to give their customers feedback and recommendations that will help them run their retail business more effectively. Services include physically operating the retail store for them anywhere in the United States with a trained team of retail sales specialists.

About Us: The Retail Outsource specializes in building high performance sales/support teams for retail and institutional projects. They also staff and successfully manage retail stores on behalf of their clients. T-ROC and its affiliates provide total sales operation solutions. The Retail Outsource Companies include Mobile Insight – real-time field reporting and business intelligence, The Consumer Insight – full-service customer experience analysis, and SYMBITS – managed IT services. Working in synergy, these four companies form a complete ecosystem: running, managing, and maximizing the productivity of retail efforts.

The Retail Outsource Companies to Attend January Trade Shows

December 17, 2013

Representatives from The Retail Outsource Companies (T-ROC), will be participating in both the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 7 – 10, 2014 and the NRF Big Show in New York City from January 12 – 15, 2014.

Each Show is the world’s largest venue in its respective category – showcasing how up-to-the-minute to-market inventions and the latest solutions are helping industry leaders and multi-channel retailers overcome logistics and operational challenges and achieve their sales goals.

Team T-ROC is a part of this innovation revolution. These four elite companies complete the ecosystem of running, managing, and maximizing the productivity of retail businesses. Together they help retailers operate their stores by providing a trained team of product demonstrators or retail specialists.

The Retail Outsource creates a custom sales system including everything from how customers are greeted, operational procedures, all the way through to aftercare programs. TRO also builds high performance sales/support teams for retail and outside projects.  They also staff and successfully manage retail stores on behalf of their clients.

The Consumer Insight measures the Customer Satisfaction Index utilizing mystery shopping, satisfaction surveys, and competitor statistics. Techniques for improving brand appeal and brand loyalty are also available.

Mobile Insight provides quantitative analysis of store visits by customers and compiles reporting and business intelligence in real time. Industry specific software provides store management with instant access to photo capture, product delivery, and sales goals.

SYMBITS is America’s best-in-class IT managed solutions provider for the retail and education industries while also helping America’s small to medium size businesses with IT maintenance and on and off-site support, remote helpdesk,  business continuity strategies and cloud service offering.

To find out firsthand how Team T-ROC can help you dominate your industry and dramatically grow your revenue and profits, we invite you to arrange a live meeting with them at one, or both of these events.  Pre-show appointments are encouraged and welcomed!

The Retail Outsource is Named A Best Buy Approved Provider

February 14, 2013

February 14, 2013: Miami FL – The Retail Outsource (TRO) is proud to announce that it has been granted the coveted position as a Best Buy Third Party Approved Provider. TRO is now authorized to offer in-store sales teams to act as a direct extension of the Best Buy brand. These teams will be performing in-store activities such as customer service and sales.

After an extensive qualification process, TRO was approved as one of 10 Third Party Approved Providers. This extremely elite group is authorized to interact directly with Best Buy customers. Given the impact a third party relationship has on Best Buy they are highly selective of the companies allowed to partake in this program. TRO understands the magnitude of this relationship and will invest heavily in this opportunity. TRO’s extensive years of experience in providing high performance sales teams to retail kiosks, stores-within-stores, and standalone store startups definitely makes them the perfect fit for this handpicked group. “Our sales force has extensive expertise in managing day-to-day store operations, as well as a proven track record of high sales performance. We are excited to take on this role within Best Buy, and are confident that we will deliver superior customer service” said Brett Beveridge, CEO and Founder of The Retail Outsource Companies.

 

Best Buy’s Third Party Approved Provider Program was established November 1, 2005. This program was put in place to ensure that Best Buy customers’ needs are consistently met and that customers encounter a more consistent in-store experience at any Best Buy store. Third Party Providers have product knowledge, Best Buy certifications, and additional Best Buy training allowing them to assist customers on the sales floor.

To connect with TRO contact Founder and CEO Brett Beveridge at bbeveridge@theretailoutsource.com

To contact Best Buy, email the Third Party Team, 3PLSupportTeam@BestBuy.com or check out the Best Buy Third Party Site,https://thirdpartylabor.bestbuy.com.

About The Retail Outsource

Headquartered in Miami, FL, The Retail Outsource specializes in retail consultation and specialized sales team staffing. TRO is affiliated with Mobile Insight, a wireless mobile field force automation application system, The Consumer Insight, a full-service customer experience management services provider, and SYMBITS, an IT managed services firm. To learn more about TRO, visit http://www.theretailoutsource.com .

The Retail Outsource Companies Introduces The Consumer Insight at CES 2013

January 4, 2013

The Retail Outsource Companies Introduces The Consumer Insight at CES 2013

Miami, January 4, 2013:  The Retail Outsource Companies, is pleased to announce the launch of its new sister company, The Consumer Insight (www.theconsumerinsight.com). The Consumer Insight (TCI), is a full-service customer experience management service provider. TCI focuses on Mystery Shopping, Telephone Mystery Shopping, Customer Surveys, Compliance Audits, Competitive Intelligence, and Instant Rewards programs.

TCI’s client-centric methodology and unparalleled commitment to quality reporting distinguish it above other customer experience management programs currently available.  TCI deploys over 25 specific processes to ensure quality reporting; including PhotoDNA document upload verification and GeoVerify GPS location authentication. Through the use of TCI’s 30 thousand team members we can quickly deploy and execute thousands of visits with quality and accuracy. “We are delighted to add TCI to our comprehensive suite of services offering.” stated Brett Beveridge, Founder & CEO of The Retail Outsource Companies.

The Consumer Insight is headed up by Sam Hersey. Sam Hersey is a 30-year veteran of the retail industry and currently serves as the General Manager of The Consumer Insight.  He has operated hundreds of retail locations with a focus on CE and wireless retail services.  Sam has a rich and varied background in all aspects of retailing and specializes in defining, refining, and elevating the customer experience.  He has applied his extensive experience to developing actionable full-cycle customer experience reporting and management services to empower over 75 retail entities; from Fortune 100 companies to regional and local retailers. “Sam’s programs have helped clients of all sizes to understand, refine, and improve their customers’ retail experience. His extensive retail and customer experience expertise offers TCI an immense competitive edge.” stated Brett Beveridge, Founder & CEO of The Retail Outsource Companies.

To connect with TCI at CES contact Founder and CEO Brett Beveridge at bbeveridge@theretailoutsource.com

About The Consumer Insight

The Consumer Insight (TCI), a full service customer experience management service provider, is the newest member of The Retail Outsource Companies. TCI is headquartered in Miami, FL, along with its affiliate companies, The Retail Outsource, specializes in retail consultation and specialized sales team staffing, Mobile Insight, a wireless mobile field force automation application system, and SYMBITS, an IT managed services firm.

The Retail Outsource honored by Inc. Hire Power Awards

December 12, 2012

Brett Beveridge CEO of The Retail Outsource has been honored by Inc. Hire Power Awards as one of the “Real Heroes of the American Economy” for his job creating efforts.

The Retail Outsource ranks #7 in job creation over the past three years in the retail industry.

 

December 12, 2012:  New York, NY – Miami, FL – based The Retail Outsource featured in the inaugural ranking of Inc.’s Hire Power Awards, recognizing the private businesses that have generated the most jobs in the past three years.

 

The Retail Outsource generated 129 jobs from 2008 to 2011, placing it among the top 10 private business job creators within the retail industry.

The Retail Outsource specializes in the turnkey management and staffing of high performance sales teams both in and out of retail. Their recent hiring programs are not unique for the company but rather are continued indicators of the company’s impressive growth. “It’s an honor to be recognized for our job creating efforts. The hard work and dedication of our employees is what allows us to continue growing” said Brett Beveridge, Founder and CEO of The Retail Outsource. With employees in more than 44 states nationwide, The Retail Outsource is poised for continued rapid growth, including expansion into Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.

Inc. is the only major business media brand aimed solely at CEOs of fast-growing private companies. The Hire Power Awards will appear in Inc.’s December/January issue, as well as the brand’s web site, www.inc.com.

“The top 100 companies on the list have created 73,032 American jobs in the three-year period from 2008 to 2011 – an amazing feat, given that much of that job growth came during the heart of the recession,” explains Inc. editor-in-chief Eric Schurenberg. “And it isn’t just the big guys that are adding jobs. Companies with less than $50 million in annual revenue make up nearly one-third of the Hire Power list.”

The inaugural Inc. Hire Power Awards are sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which is proud to recognize American companies that have greatly increased their workforces. Inc.’s Hire Power Awards celebrates private companies on the forefront of American job creation, giving these businesses the recognition they deserve.

About The Retail Outsource

Headquartered in Miami, FL, The Retail Outsource specializes in retail consultation and specialized sales team staffing. It is also affiliated with Mobile Insight, a wireless handheld-based field force automation, compliance and reporting application developer, SYMBITS, an IT managed services firm, and The Consumer Insight, a full-service customer experience management services provider. To learn more about the services The Retail Outsource offers to retailers, manufacturers and service providers, visit http://www.theretailoutsource.comor http://theretailoutsourcecompanies.com/ .

About Inc.

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders.  Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 6,000,000 today.  For more information, visit www.inc.com.

About Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 57 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,700 retail banking offices and approximately 17,250 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America Merrill Lynch offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services.  For more information, visit:http://corp.bankofamerica.com/business/smb.

“Bank of America Merrill Lynch” is the marketing name for the global banking and global markets businesses of Bank of America Corporation. Lending, derivatives, and other commercial banking activities are performed globally by banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation, including Bank of America, N.A., member FDIC. Securities, strategic advisory, and other investment banking activities are performed globally by investment banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“Investment Banking Affiliates”), including, in the United States, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp., all of which are registered broker dealers and members of FINRA and SIPC, and, in other jurisdictions, by locally registered entities. Investment products offered by Investment Banking Affiliates: Are Not FDIC Insured * May Lose Value * Are Not Bank Guaranteed.

Outstanding Job Vanessa!

The Retail Outsource is proud of all of our great associates across the 44 states we serve but want to highlight another exemplary employee. Thank you Vanessa for embodying the TRO brand and providing exceptional customer service.

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This [email] is in reference to my store experience in Jefferson, GA Sunday, December 4th.  On Saturday I was flipping through the Tiger Direct sales flyer, when I ran across an ad for the AT&T Momentum for $19.99. I have been trying to eliminate my landline for awhile now and since I am not located in the AT&T area, it was impossible for me to do.  I called Tiger Direct to get more information on this item and was transferred to Vanessa.  She was very thorough and provided me with all the information I needed. She also recommended the AT&T Elevate which would work on up to 5 devices instead of the Momentum, which was for one.  She was very patient and kind.  I told her that I would stop by on Sunday after church and she was very accommodating in person as well.  I already had five lines on my AT&T account and she worked with customer service to get the 6th line for the Elevate added on.

I would like thank her for her patience, kindness and professional manner.  I would and have recommended Tiger Direct to friends and family, and look forward to continued business.

Thanks Vanessa!!! Outstanding job!!!

A.Duffy,
Very Satisfied Customer

Another Great CompUSA Associate: Lazaro Perona!

Congrats and thanks for all your hard work and exceptional customer service to CompUSA associate, Lazaro Perona. He was caught going above and beyond to solve a customer problem. We can’t thank you enough and are proud to have you as part of our T-ROC team!

——————-
“I went into the Compusa, Kendell Drive this morning and received absolutely wonderful service and assistance from Lazaro Perona. My Dell Streak lost the “home” page setting. Lazaro fixed the problem almost immediately and was just a great person to deal with.

Thank you for having such a wonderful employee to represent your company.”
A.T. submitted on Nov. 2, 2011

Bringing Value to Our Clients: A Success in Jefferson, GA

The Retail Outsource would like to congratulate and thank our hard-working team in Jefferson, Georgia! They have created amazing things in a challenging environment for TigerConnect Center by embracing enthusiasm and determination to succeed. The story goes…

Unbeknownst to the staff and its future shoppers, a destination TigerDirect store was coming to the crossroads of the middle-of-no-where and where-the-heck-am-I Georgia, approximately 45 minutes from the nearest town. With a host of challenges including no store visibility, virtually no residents and minimal advertising the TigerConnect Center created remarkable results in their first few months in business. In the first month the TigerConnect Center broke every sales record for a new store and in the second month tied the well-established and thriving Altamonte Springs (FL) store for second place in sales! What the Jefferson team has accomplished is tremendous and encompasses all TRO represents; motivation, great leadership and hard-work!

This success story proves our staff, you, the TRO team, takes obstacles head on, brings value to our clients and takes pride in personal accomplishments!

The impacts of this team’s record-shattering results were immediately visible to our business partners. TigerDirect enhanced their gross margins by over 6%. This was no small feat. It ensured the Jefferson location not only achieved but exceeded their corporate sales goals!

Because of the great team in place at this Jefferson store, as well as all our talented teams across the country, The Retail Outsource is providing impactful and immediate value to the clients we serve and for that we THANK YOU!