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Interface Security Systems and Video Analytics Company,
Ignite Prism, Form Exclusive Partnership

Interface Security Systems, a leading managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS, and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Ignite Prism, a developer of cloud-based business intelligence solutions. As part of this partnership, Interface will have exclusive rights to Ignite Prism's video analytics technology in North America. With the Ignite Prism video analytics solution, retailers or any consumer-facing business can use the data gathered by their existing surveillance cameras to derive actionable business intelligence and enhance customer experience. Read More Here

   Interface Shares its top Networking Predictions for 2021

The Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) Welcomes Axis Communications
to Master's Level Partnership Status

The Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) announced that Axis Communications has advanced its partnership to become the newest Master level partner. Like all LPF partners, Master level partners demonstrate a commitment to retail loss prevention and asset protection. What's more, Master level partners benefit from LPQ and LPC certification course scholarships, as well as complimentary LPF memberships for its loss prevention professionals. With their advancement to Master level partnership, Axis Communications has set an example to the industry regarding the importance of loss prevention, higher education, and continuous improvement. Read More Here

Inauguration Day Security Turns D.C. into a 'War Zone'

National Guard Troops From Nearly Every State Activated

Barbed Wire Fencing - Roads & Bridges Locked Down 


30,000-Foot View of Inauguration Security Measures
Everything to Know About Inauguration Day Security

Joe Biden will become our next president as scores of National Guard troops patrol Washington, D.C., streets, fencing topped with razor wire rings the U.S. Capitol and a large portion of the city is shut down.

Security is tight in D.C. ahead of Inauguration Day on Wednesday after the FBI warned of threats to the city and the possibility of armed groups demonstrating in support of outgoing President Donald Trump.

Do not come to D.C. to witness the inauguration, the leaders of D.C., Maryland and Virginia said.

What Is Shut Down

Fences surround the Capitol, several Metro stations are closed and the U.S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies have dramatically expanded the area that will be restricted for drivers.

A seven-foot-high, unscalable fence encircles the Capitol. Armed National Guard troops patrol the area, and military vehicles are on streets. The U.S. Capitol complex is closed to the public, and the grounds will not be accessible on Inauguration Day.

Several blocks around the White House are locked down. The D.C. road restrictions and closures will remain in place until after the inauguration, the Secret Service said. Officials warn that changes to road closures may be made if conditions warrant.

A number of bridges that cross the Potomac River and Anacostia River will be closed. The Pentagon station will be closed on Inauguration Day only.

What We Know About Potential Security Threats

The FBI has warned of threats to D.C., including to lawmakers and federal monuments, and the possibility of armed groups demonstrating in the District on Inauguration Day.

An FBI memo with information from multiple federal law enforcement agencies contained information from social media and other sources. While the memo warned of possible threats discussed by online actors, it doesn't mean that law enforcement agencies expect violent mass protests or confrontations in every state capitol, NBC News reported.

Security Experts Weigh In - Secret Service Closures - Internal & External Threats

Read our full coverage of Inauguration Day security here

A Capital Under Siege
Washington resembles an armed encampment, with visitors barred from many places, fences surrounding the National Mall and troops lining the streets.

"I've never seen anything like this," said Peter Baker, NY Times's chief White House correspondent, who has covered every White House since Clinton's and who first covered an inauguration as a junior reporter in 1985, the start of Ronald Reagan's second term. "It's surreal to see our city become such an armed camp. It reminds me of Baghdad or Kabul back when I covered those wars, but I never imagined we would see it quite this way in Washington." nytimes.com

Police Arrest Suspect in Pelosi Laptop Theft
Tipster Alleges Woman Planned to Pass Laptop to Russian Friend

Retailers Upping Security Investment, Presence
Security expert says we're at a 9/11-type turning point

Security Culture Is Changing in America After Civil Unrest

On-site security guards, first-aid instruction and alliances with local law enforcement are some of the precautions companies are taking

After the civil unrest that wreaked havoc in major cities last summer and more recently the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, companies are taking stock of their security plans. As the potential for civil unrest is increasingly a concern for many retailers and businesses, more companies are trying to be proactive about protecting their employees, customers and businesses.

"The way people view security ebbs and flows... Our security culture in America changed particularly at airports after 9/11. I think our security posture is going to change after Jan. 6, when it comes to relatively open and accessible public buildings, particularly state capitols," said Kevin Davis, 30-year veteran of law enforcement and director of GardaWorld Security's consulting services division.

While many are on edge about the potential risk of civil unrest near any of the 50 state capitols, many businesses and local, state and federal officials are taking precautions. "That's going to be something that trickles down to our business community and our retail clients," Davis said. "None of our retail clients want a disturbingly overt security presence that scares their customers. But they certainly realize a security presence and a capacity in technology to be smart about security is something that everybody needs right now."

Going forward, he expects that being smarter about security will be seen more as a cost of doing business. While major retailers could be spending between hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions on security annually, they have been relatively low-key and covert, according to Davis. "As time goes by, there will be a little more of a presence. And that presence serves as a deterrent, quite frankly. Is it a perfect deterrent? No. But is it a deterrent? Absolutely. Retailers across the country are going to be thinking about what they can do differently about security and they will be implementing some changes along the way," he said.

Retailers that are located near the state capitols understand they are vulnerable in the event of any civil unrest. That is certainly the case in D.C., where there is a good deal of retail in and around the nation's relatively accessible buildings, Davis said. "That can have a secondary effect on their businesses and clients."

Retailers have been concerned for months, including during the lead-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, as many people anticipated civil unrest especially in the nation's capital. With 65 or so clients in D.C., some commercial and others retailers, GardaWorld has seen increased demand for security. "There is a lot of anxiety right now. The number-one concerns are civil unrest, rioting, destruction and people getting hurt. People have a lot of anxiety about their personal welfare and the welfare of their business, particularly the retail clients." he said. wwd.com

D.C. Business Security & Closures 

DC-based beauty retailers brace for Inauguration Day

DC Apple Stores closed through Biden's inauguration

'It's a standstill': DC business reeling amid heightened security

Washington hotels weigh inauguration profits against safety

Preparing for Civil Unrest Across the U.S. 

At least 21 states activating National Guard in capitals to prepare for possible attacks

NYC: Boarded Up Businesses, Stepped Up Security Across NYC Ahead of Inauguration

Starbucks temporarily shuts NYC stores over protest fears

NYPD Commissioner Defends Arrests of 28 Protesters at MLK Day Demonstration

Seattle: 12 arrests after protesters blocked I-5 highway downtown Monday

Feds arrest man who threatened to kill police at MN state capitol pro-Trump rally

Austin: Texas Capitol closed, businesses board up ahead of potential protests

All 122 federal prison facilities under full-on lockdown

COVID Update

US: Over 24.8M Cases - 412K Dead - 14.7M Recovered
Worldwide: Over 96.8M Cases - 2M Dead - 69M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 267   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 200
*Red indicates change in total deaths

The New Normal? Retail's Stuck in '2020's State of Chaos'
What 6 charts say about the pandemic's impact on retail

From store closures to foot traffic, here are various ways that the global health crisis impacted retail, and what it could mean for the future.

It's unclear how long the rollout of a vaccine will take, and when consumer behavior will return to "normal," or what the new normal will be. Trends accelerated by the pandemic will continue to pose problems for retailers as they look to catch up.

"Supply chain infrastructure will continue to see major disruption in 2021," "Pressure for home delivery and the run on key product categories has put pressure on retailers to re-think their distribution and transportation model. Now their infrastructure needs to be prepared for the 'new normal' of 2021 once the pandemic slows down and the vaccine rolls out."

Spending all of 2020 in a relative state of chaos also means that retailers have been more focused on stopping the bleeding than looking ahead.

Retailers will be dealing with the pandemic's impact no matter how long the actual health crisis remains an active concern in 2021. Whether that means taking stock of services implemented in 2020 and determining which ones are financially sustainable and which need to be tweaked, or just keeping up with changed consumer behavior habits, this year won't be back to 2019's definition of normal. retaildive.com

Here's a recap of some of the biggest impacts the pandemic had on retail:

E-commerce soared - Foot traffic plummeted, and (somewhat) recovered - Retail sales bounced back, but apparel fell hard

Store closures continued to pile up - Bankruptcies stacked up, with more to come - Retail stocks took a nosedive, but ended the year strong

Editor's Note: Pandemic's impact on Loss Prevention & Cybersecurity:

● Increased Civil Unrest - Safety went from part-time store committees to everybody's full-time concern & focus

Business Continuity was completely redefined - Supply Chain & Warehousing took center stage - BOPIS & Fraud went light speed - Scan-and-Go became a necessity

e-Commerce fraud increased exponentially - Remote work risks became cyber criminals new frontier & Cybersecurity's nightmare

Cyber Attacks magnified - COVID Phishing bombardment

Cases flattening in California, after weeks as COVID's epicenter
More contagious COVID-19 variants bring new uncertainties to California

Confirmed coronavirus cases in California surged past the 3 million mark Tuesday at a moment of growing optimism that the outbreak might finally be leveling off, even as officials noted some alarming factors that could complicate projections.

Cases continued to flatten across California - including in hard-hit Los Angeles County - after two months of record-setting surges. COVID-19 hospitalizations have also flattened and started to decline slightly, giving some desperately needed breathing room to medical facilities still overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.

After a slow start, California is beginning to ramp up distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, which officials see as the best hope of bending the curve and bringing back the battered economy. Limited supply of the vaccine will likely mean many will still have to wait weeks if not months to get their shots, but there is growing hope the incoming Biden administration can accelerate vaccination efforts.

But despite these positive developments, officials are expressing growing concerns about new and potentially more contagious variants of the coronavirus that have been detected in California and beyond. One of the new variants is believed to be 50% more transmissible than the conventional variety of the coronavirus, which if it became widespread, would lead to more infections, hospitalizations and deaths. latimes.com


Pharmacy orgs commend Biden's COVID-19 plan to activate pharmacies
President-elect Joe Biden's COVID-19 plan to fully utilize pharmacies nationwide to hasten the administration of COVID-19 vaccinations is garnering praise from the industry. Both the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the American Pharmacists Association released statements in praise of the plan.

"We greatly appreciate President-elect Biden's thoughtful and determined remarks and his pledge to 'fully activate the pharmacies across this country to get the vaccinations into more arms as quickly as possible,'" said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. "As we have indicated, pharmacies can meet the demand for 100 million vaccinations in one month, assuming that level of vaccine supply is available. Ninety percent of Americans live within 5 miles of a community pharmacy." drugstorenews.com

More retailers incentivizing employee vaccinations
Aldi to pay employees who get COVID vaccine, set up on-site vaccination clinics

The discount grocer, which has more than 2,000 U.S. stores in 37 states, said it will provide employees with two hours of pay for each dose they receive, up to four hours total, as well as scheduling flexibility for salaried employees. It also plans to implement on-site vaccination clinics at its warehouse and office locations to ensure its employees have easy access to the vaccine.

As previously reported, Dollar General, Trader Joe's and Instacart are all offering their employees incentives to get vaccinated. chainstoreage.com

   Lidl Offers $200 In Extra Pay To Encourage Employees To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccines and Employer Liability
Employers are exploring their options for mandating or encouraging workers to get COVID-19 vaccinations. They may even want to offer vaccines onsite when they are available. So can an employer be held liable if a worker has an adverse reaction to the vaccine?

Workers' Compensation Coverage - Additional Liability Protections - Who Should Be Vaccinated?

Employers that mandate or encourage employees to get vaccinated will likely partner with a health care provider or other authorized entity to administer the vaccine, but they may still be concerned about potential legal liability if an employee has an allergic reaction.

Ashley Cuttino, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Greenville, S.C., explained that an employer-mandated vaccine is considered a part of work. So under most state laws, an adverse reaction would be covered by workers' compensation.

Additionally, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act may provide employers immunity from claims related to side effects of a vaccine or other injury at the employer's vaccination site if the employer is considered a "program planner" that supervises or administers an onsite vaccination program. shrm.org

COVID-19 Vaccinations - Potentially the Most Important Storyline for HR in 2021
Benefits professionals will need to pay attention to how vaccination programs take shape at the state and local level.

The HR firm is encouraging clients to cover costs associated with receiving a vaccine, whether employees do so through a doctor's office or pharmacy, Hope added, but "access to vaccines seems to be the biggest question." Sources described incentivizing vaccination as one potential avenue for employers worried about the impact of other policies, such as a vaccine mandate. hrdive.com

What Retailers Need to Know About COVID-19 and HVAC
HVAC - heating, ventilation and air-conditioning - systems can be a powerful tool to help minimize the risk of airborne pathogens. Upgrading and enhancing these systems can be one of many measures retail managers can take to bring a safer shopping experience to their customers and staff. chainstoreage.com

Apple temporarily closes stores in NC, GA, and TX due to COVID-19 spikes

Pfizer responds to Cuomo, says HHS approval needed to sell COVID vaccine to NY

NYC will run out COVID-19 vaccines by Friday, de Blasio warns

Seniors surge to Minnesota site to register for COVID vaccine

Study: 1 in 8 recovered COVID patients die from illness complications within 5 months

NYPD cop with COVID-19 sidelines a quarter of force sent to DC - 1 Bus Load of 50 NYPD Officers Quarantined

Inside LPRC's Virtual Reality Lab
Group of crimefighters using VR, help from former crooks to cut down shoplifting

"Theft is occurring broadly across the nation," said Dr. Read Hayes, a criminologist at the University of Florida and director of the Loss Prevention Research Council, a self-described group of crime fighters with a mission of developing crime control solutions.

Hayes says the increase in shoplifting is in part due to the pandemic. An increase of unemployment has contributed to the problem and so has a shift in attention from workers in stores. Hayes says many workers are now focusing more on social distancing and less on loss prevention.

"Now, you got a lot of anonymous people that are masked," he said. "No one is near them or talking to them or serving them. So, it was this perfect storm."

Recently, Hayes' team started getting help from of all people former thieves. They're working with criminal offenders and designed virtual reality simulation labs to help major retailers prevent theft. thedenverchannel.com

Crosby's C-Stores to be Awarded Safe Shop Assured Certification
It's not easy standing out in today's marketplace. Consumers have many choices for food and fuel, and the pandemic has raised expectations for cleanliness and safety. Winning in this new paradigm requires more than consistent execution - retailers also have to communicate their commitment to excellence.

Lockport, N.Y.-based Crosby's Stores is in the process of being awarded Safe Shop Assured certification. Implementation of Safe Shop branding will be completed at each of its 81 locations in the first quarter of 2021. The New York-based convenience retailer is the latest to be recognized for a commitment to a best-in-class customer experience.

Safe Shop is an industry-driven initiative to recognize operators that raise the bar for excellence. In order to earn Safe Shop Assured certification, retailers must satisfy a 10-point checklist of essential safety standards as identified by a panel of retailers, suppliers, and industry experts. Ongoing reviews ensure compliance and program integrity. cstoredecisions.com

What does the largest retailer think of the $15 Min. Wage Proposal?
Walmart CEO Says Wage Hike Should Consider Regional Economics

Walmart Inc. Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said the U.S. needs to confront its health and economic crises -- but added he doesn't support a universal $15 minimum wage. President-elect Biden's $1.9 trillion plan would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour from the current level of $7.25, which is "too low," McMillon said during a media briefing with Business Roundtable CEO Josh Bolten. But instead of setting a uniform nationwide level, McMillon called for a higher wage that takes into account "geographic differences" and "small business." Congress should find the "right pace" for wage increases, said McMillon, who is serving as chairman of Business Roundtable.

As the world's largest retailer and an employer of 1.5 million workers in the U.S. alone, Walmart's CEO is closely watched in the retail world and beyond when it comes to labor practices and corporate decision-making. Walmart has increased its minimum wage in recent years amid criticism from labor activists, but it remains short of the $15 threshold and still lags that of competitors such as Target and Amazon.com. bloomberg.com

   By the numbers: The impact of the $15 minimum wage

Trump pardons convicted ex-Google engineer who stole trade secrets
One of President Trump's final acts in office is to pardon a former Google engineer who was convicted of stealing trade secrets. Anthony Levandowski worked for Google's self-driving car division, now called Waymo, before leaving to found Otto, a self-driving truck company that was acquired by Uber. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in August, with judge William Alsup describing the incident as the "biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen."

Levandowski was found to have downloaded thousands of files to his laptop before he left Google and entered into sale discussions. Uber ultimately fired him after Google sued, and Levandowski remains in a legal battle with the ride-hailing company, claiming it should be liable for the $179 million he was ordered to pay Google. theverge.com

'Thief to Chief': How a teen gang member became a respected police officer
It was 1974. Roaches crawled around the basement of a government-subsidized apartment building in Flushing, Queens, where six young men - members of a local gang called the Family - were "probably" high on weed. Six guns were laid out. Each person was expected to choose one and join the hunt to shoot rivals thought to have messed with a member's cousin.

One of the teenage hoods, Kevin Lowry, was already on probation and on a path of drug dealing and petty crime - but he was about to get lucky. "Weather had driven the ­unsuspecting young men underground," he writes of the gang's prey, in his memoir "From Thief to Chief: A Self-Portrait of Juvenile Delinquency and Rehabilitation". "We called it off [as the sun came up] ...That's when I knew I had to get out."

Dangerous acts dominated the life of then-17-year-old Lowry. But he recognized that murder was one step beyond the pale. "I was struggling with self-esteem and trying to be something I was not," Lowry, now 63, told The Post. Still, the twice-arrested kid didn't think his life would take the turn that it did, with him becoming a top uniformed cop in Nassau County, LI. nypost.com

Jewel-Osco pilots automated kiosks in Chicago
First grocer in the U.S. to use automated pickup technology for online orders. The automated kiosk is located in the store's parking lot. Customers go to the unit, scan a code and have their items delivered to them robotically. Customers' orders are placed in the kiosk by the store's associates. retailwire.com

From the CFO's Perspective:
Office Depot rejects Staples' takeover bid; proposes different plan

Citi Trends to open at least 100 new stores by end of fiscal 2023

Manhattan Retail Rents Plummet as Pandemic's Pounding Lingers

Kohl's CEO Among Five Retail Leaders Added to RILA Board

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director National Investigations job posted for Albertsons in Boise, ID
Lead investigations inclusive of employee dishonesty, e.com fraud, RX and Organized Retail Crime. Have the ability to develop business goals, team strategies, and recommend new approaches, processes, policies and procedures to drive continuous improvement mitigating internal and external theft. Analyze casework trends and produce strategic recommendations to the business to proactively address systemic issues. Support of Divisions and Supply Chain by providing analytics and data to investigating freight, theft, and inventory discrepancies. recruiting.adp.com

Group Investigations Mgr - West Region job posted for JCPenney in Plano, TX
The Group Manager - Investigations is responsible for leading Field, Special, and Market Investigation teams to prioritize workload, implement investigation plans, and coach case closures. They will support and assist District Asset Protection Managers, AP Directors and the Central Investigations Center with day-to-day high priority investigations. The Group Manager - Investigations is directly involved in the development of investigation plans and ensures tactical plans and strategies are executed to stop criminal activity in cooporation with law enforcement with the goal to drive sales, profit and reduce shrink. jobs.jobvite.com

Associate Dir. AP & Inventory Control - Supply Chain job posted for
Crate & Barrel in Northbrook, IL
Responsible for defining and ensuring the successful functioning of asset protection controls throughout our supply chain network, with a particular focus on our distribution centers and cross-docks. The position will partner with Supply Chain and location leaders to set strategies and proactively address issues, drive policies and protocols, and implement best practices. jobs.crateandbarrel.com

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Grocery e-commerce platforms like Instacart have seen their overall footprint within the grocery industry skyrocket during the pandemic. While more consumers move to buying groceries this way, grocers are being left to decipher how to best optimize this new relationship with Instacart.

Join us for a new webinar that covers the latest trends, tips and tricks on how to best leverage your Instacart data.

This webinar will cover:

  • Analyzing the impact of Instacart on the retail & grocery industry

  • Tracking the specific fraud and theft cases rising across the Instacart Shopper landscape

  • Digging into the correlation between your In-Store vs. Instacart sales

  • Leveraging your Instacart data for Category and Pricing Analysis

  • And more...





RH-ISAC's Upcoming Cyber Thursday Webinars

Jan. 28 - Prepare for eCommerce Threats in the New Year

. 28 - Rise of the Hybrid Threat: Resiliency in the Age of Evolving Cyber Attacks

Jan. 28 -
Improve Your Detection Process with Attack Range

RH-ISAC Virtual Regional Workshop Hosted by CVS Health - March 4, 2021

Register now: 2021 RH-ISAC Cyber Intelligence Summit - Sept. 28-29, 2021

Your 2021 Cyber Exposures
Companies Target Workforce Risks in 2021

Work-from-home arrangements and return-to-office concerns
are top-of-mind for executives, risk groups say

Business-risk prognosticators are focused on the future of work - and the challenges that an increasingly remote workforce could continue to pose - in 2021. The transformation of work in the past year, due in large part to the coronavirus pandemic, has heightened dangers related to business continuity, cybersecurity, culture and talent management, organizations that monitor enterprise risks say.

In the year ahead, organizations are expected to face those and new risks related to returning to the office-ranging from employee retention, workplace safety and liability issues raised by employees, risk management organizations say.

The World Economic Forum on Tuesday warned that companies and their workforces are under pressure as a result of financial, digital and reputational threats resulting from the pandemic.

"As businesses transform their workplaces, new vulnerabilities are emerging," Carolina Klint, a risk management leader at insurance brokerage Marsh, said in a statement accompanying the release of WEF's Global Risks Report 2021. "Rapid digitalization is exponentially increasing cyber exposures, supply chain disruption is radically altering business models, and a rise in serious health issues has accompanied employees' shift to remote working," Ms. Klint said.

Some of those risks emanate from employees depending on home networks, which can be less stable and less secure than corporate networks, risk management experts say.

Companies also face challenges as they ask more employees to return to the office. Businesses are working through ways to ensure safe work environments, such as determining how many people can occupy an elevator at one time. Some are also grappling with whether to require employees to be vaccinated, according to executives at Navex Global Inc. wsj.com

Protecting the remote workforce to be enterprises' prime focus in 2021
IT teams struggled in the early days of the pandemic, rushing to meet the urgent need for widespread remote access. Connecting users often came at the expense of other factors, such as security, performance, and management.

As 81% of respondents expect to continue working-from-home (WFH), 2021 will see enterprises address those other areas, evolving their remote access architectures to protect the remote workforce without compromising on the user experience.

Writes Gartner, "The abrupt surge in remote work has made secure remote access a priority, bringing back to the forefront BYOPC and VPNs for the short term, and emphasizing on SASE and ZTNA for the long term." helpnetsecurity.com

Major Cybercrime Store Closes
Joker's Stash Carding Market to Call it Quits

Joker's Stash, by some accounts the largest underground shop for selling stolen credit card and identity data, says it's closing up shop effective mid-February 2021. The announcement came on the heels of a turbulent year for the major cybercrime store, and just weeks after U.S. and European authorities seized a number of its servers.

The Russian and English language carding store first opened in October 2014, and quickly became a major source of "dumps" - information stolen from compromised payment cards that thieves can buy and use to create physical counterfeit copies of the cards.

But 2020 turned out to be a tough year for Joker's Stash. As cyber intelligence firm Intel 471 notes, the curator of the store announced in October that he'd contracted COVID-19, spending a week in the hospital. Around that time, Intel 471 says many of Joker's loyal customers started complaining that the shop's payment card data quality was increasingly poor. That COVID diagnosis may have affected the shop owner's ability to maintain fresh and valid inventory on his site. krebsonsecurity.com

IaaS Cloud Companies Must Verify Customer IDs
Before leaving office, Trump orders CSO's to identify customers
New executive order from President Trump. This one demands that cloud computing companies verify the identities of their customers. The outgoing administration says the order is meant to crack down on foreign adversaries that use cloud services to mount cyber attacks. The order is directed at companies that provide infrastructure-as-a-service. It gives federal agencies, including DHS and the Department of Commerce six months to implement new regulations. federalnewsnetwork.com

Ransomware victims that have backups are paying ransoms to stop hackers leaking their stolen data
Ransomware attacks are proving even more lucrative for cyber criminals as even organizations which can restore from backups are paying ransom demands to prevent further damage.
Over the course of the last year, many of the most successful ransomware gangs have added an additional technique in an effort to coerce victims into paying ransoms after compromising their networks - publishing stolen data if a payment isn't received.

As 2020 started, only Maze ransomware gang was using this tactic but as it ended, an additional 17 ransomware crews had taken to publishing stolen data of victims if they didn't receive payment

However, according to cybersecurity company Emsisoft's 'State of Ransomware' report, there are victims of ransomware attacks which are entirely capable of restoring their network from backups and have successfully done so - but are still paying a bitcoin ransom of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to cyber criminals in an effort to prevent cyber criminals from leaking stolen information. zdnet.com







COVID Update

Social Distancing Tool to Keep Stores Safe & Open

Canadian Company Creates Social Distancing Traffic Management Platform to Help Retailers Manage Crowds
Basically, like a traffic light on a roadway, the TraffikFlo app is connected to a sign that tells customers if it is okay for them to enter a store. The simple box, placed on storefront doors or windows, indicates to consumers whether they can either walk into the establishment right away (green light) or have to wait depending on store capacity numbers (red light).

Damian Wright, Founder, Owner and Creative Technologist at WXM, the company behind the app, said the sign itself is connected by Bluetooth and it can be controlled manually by an app on someone's phone or tablet or through a web browser.

The traffic system can be controlled through either Manual or Counter Mode. Counter Mode allows stores to input a max number of patrons within the store. As patrons enter, they add to the tally until the max number is reached, which will turn the display from green to red. As people leave, subtract from the total and the light will turn back to green. This is not an automatic system, but a useful alternative manual process. retail-insider.com

First-Ever Solution for Stores Struggling During Pandemic
E-commerce Solution for Canadian Malls Struggling During Lockdowns
Montreal-based SGM, in conjunction with MEDIAVORE, has developed an innovative e-commerce solution for shopping centres. They say it's the first online store adapted to malls during a time when brick and mortar retailers are being severely challenged by the economic and health crisis created by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

The online marketplace brings together products selected from several retailers and it has been launched at the Complexe Desjardins in Montreal - the first shopping centre in the country to adopt this transactional platform.

"What makes this platform a major innovation is that we have successfully integrated a shopping solution that covers all retailers in order to keep revenues in the shopping centres," said Anissa Errai, VP, Consulting Services and Strategy Group at SGM.

Errai said the unique site (which is down and relaunches this spring) gives consumers the comfort of shopping from their homes and have everything delivered free of charge (within a four-kilometre radius) in less than 24 hours. retail-insider.com

A Long Way Until Lockdowns Are Lifted?
Ontario must cut COVID-19 cases to 1,000 daily to lift lockdowns,
medical officer says
COVID-19 cases in Ontario must fall below 1,000 per day before lockdown measures can be lifted, the province's top doctor said Monday as he expressed cautious optimism that infection rates may have plateaued.

Dr. David Williams said while the province's virus rates remain high - with 2,578 new cases reported Monday - he thinks the impact of a provincewide lockdown that started on Boxing Day is beginning to emerge.

Williams said Ontario's seven-day case average has dropped to just over 3,000 cases he said, down from the mid-3,000s in recent weeks. He said he would like to see the province's new daily case counts move to levels last seen in late October before any pandemic measures are relaxed. globalnews.ca

  Extended Ontario Lockdowns Blasted for Harming Small Retailers

Vaccine Setbacks
Provinces delaying or revisiting vaccine programs as Pfizer slows dose deliveries
At least three provinces are now temporarily delaying or pausing COVID-19 vaccination programs amid fallout from Pfizer's decision to reduce Canada's vaccine deliveries over the next month.

More than half a million Canadians have been vaccinated against COVID-19 thus far, and more than 822,000 doses of the two approved vaccines have been delivered from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

But all provinces are being forced to revisit their vaccination programs after Pfizer suddenly told Canada on Friday morning it would be cutting the doses delivered in half over the next four weeks, while it upgrades its factory in Belgium. Pfizer was to ship 735,150 doses to Canada between Jan. 18 and Feb. 14. ctvnews.ca

Ontario Launches Online Security Guard and Private Investigator Testing

Ontario premier pleads with Biden administration for COVID vaccine help

Canada could impose new COVID-19 travel restrictions without notice

LP & Security Measures Driving Down Crime

Liquor Mart thefts plummet 97.5% at stores once reeling from shoplifters

Locked entrances require customers to show ID at 43 locations; 20 other stores missing out, union says

The number of Manitobans boldly grabbing armfuls of alcohol and walking past staff without paying is now small compared to the thousands of thefts reported during an epidemic of liquor-store lawlessness in 2019.

A year after the dramatic shoplifting spike, new glass-cordoned entrances preventing customers from entering without showing their photo identification have been installed in all 43 planned locations. The number of thefts has plummeted.

The five Liquor Marts hardest hit by the spate of shoplifting reported 2,633 thefts in the six months before their controlled entrances were installed. In the six months afterwards, those stores counted just 66 thefts - a 97.5 per cent decrease.

"All of us at Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries are pleased with the results the controlled entrances have had in significantly reducing the incidents of thefts - and especially robberies - at our Liquor Marts," president and CEO Manny Atwal said in a statement.

"To be able to return our stores to a place where our customers and employees are able to shop and work without the looming threat of violence has been a great relief." cbc.ca

Canada's Epstein
Nygard's Lawyer Calls Jail a 'Death Sentence'

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard seeking bail on U.S. charges of sex trafficking, racketeering
Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard plans to seek bail in a Winnipeg courtroom today following his arrest last month on charges in the United States of sex trafficking and racketeering. Nygard, who is 79, was arrested in December under the Extradition Act and faces nine counts in the southern District of New York.

In the first day of a two-day bail hearing in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Tuesday, prosecutor Scott Farlinger opposed releasing the retail magnate. Jay Prober, a lawyer for Nygard, argued that holding the 79-year-old during the Covid-19 pandemic "is nothing short of a death sentence."

Authorities there accuse Nygard of using his influence in the fashion industry to lure women and girls with the promise of modelling and other financial opportunities. Nygard's lawyer, Jay Prober, has said his client denies the allegations.

Prober has told court his client should be released on bail because his health is deteriorating behind bars and he is not a flight risk. Lawyers for the Attorney General of Canada say Nygard has a history of not showing up to court and has the means to flee. bnnbloomberg.ca bloomberg.com

Canada's Top Retailers
Leger Ranks Canada's Top Retailers Including Physical and Online Experience
The WOW study, by Leger, the largest Canadian-owned, market research and analytics company, looked at the best in-store retailers in Ontario and the best online retailers in Canada.

The list of Ontario retailers who offered the best in-store customer experience in 2020 were:

1. Reitmans
2. Lush
3. The Body Shop
4. Saje Natural Wellness
5. Lego
6. MEC

7. Fire & Flower Cannabis Co
8. M&M Food Market
9. Bath & Body Works
10. Yves Rocher
11. Nespresso
12. Lee Valley Tools

The responses provided by nearly 14,000 Canadians were used to rank the businesses offering the best online customer experience in 2020:

1. Simons
2. Lush
3. Apple
4. Sephora
5. Cook It

6. SAQ
7. Fizz
8. Amazon
9. Lufa Farms
10. Nespresso / Yves Rocher retail-insider.com

Shopping Centres in Canada to See Significant Changes in 2021 and Beyond

Walmart Canada to help staffers ease stress

Biden's plan to cancel Keystone pipeline signals a rocky start with Canada

Toronto, ON: Restaurant owners huddled inside office as shots rang out
in front of their store
The owners of a Toronto restaurant said they huddled inside their office as shots rang out near the front door of the store on Thursday evening. The province's police watchdog was called in to investigate after a man was shot during an interaction with Toronto police in Scarborough. At around 8 p.m., police encountered a vehicle of interest in the parking lot of Church's Chicken. As officers attempted to block in the vehicle, the vehicle rammed into the police vehicles, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said in a statement. There was an interaction and an officer discharged their firearm and struck one of two people they were investigating, Insp. Andy Singh told reporters Thursday evening. The two individuals were later taken into custody, police said. toronto.ctvnews.ca

Kamloops, BC: Police looking for gun-flashing suspect in alleged store theft
Cst. Crystal Evelyn said police received a report of a theft in progress on Hillside Drive, shortly after 8 p.m. on Jan. 7. The man left the store through an emergency exit with unpaid merchandise and, when staff attempted to stop the man, he flashed what appeared to be a firearm. Evelyn said police responded with a dog service unit and detained three suspects, none of whom fit the description. kamloopsthisweek.com

Peterborough man arrested in vehicle break-in, credit card fraud investigations

St. John's, NL: Crown seeks 3 1/2 years for man who told store clerks his name before deciding to rob them

Robberies & Burglaries

C-Store - Saint John, NB - Armed Robbery
Electronics - Waterloo, ON - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - St. John's, NL - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Kawartha Lakes, ON - Armed Robbery
Unnamed Store - Regina, SK - Armed Robbery

How are we doing? We need your input & suggestions. Send to lpnews@d-ddaily.net

View Canadian Connections Archives




China's Reeling in Their CEOs
After Executing One CEO for Embezzling Over $200M Last Month
Alibaba's Jack Ma Disappears for Three Months After Public Speech

'Alibaba's Jack Ma reemerges from three-month absence after clash with Beijing'

Jack Ma is back, and he has eaten a little humble pie.

After a nearly three-month public absence that drew speculation over his fate following a clash with Chinese regulators, the billionaire behind e-commerce giant Alibaba emerged Wednesday in an online speech congratulating rural teachers who were receiving an award from his philanthropic campaign.

"During this period, my colleagues and I have been studying and thinking, and we have even more strongly devoted ourselves to the idea of educational philanthropy," he said, according to a transcript of his speech published by Tianmu News, a Chinese state-owned news agency.

The tame remarks were a contrast to Ma's last public speech in October, in which he blasted China's financial regulators for stifling innovation and likened state banks to "pawnshops," Soon after his speech, Ma was summoned by regulators and wasn't heard from or seen since then - and Ant Group's IPO plans were suspended.

It turned out Ma picked the wrong fight: After his criticism, Beijing regulators scuttled the IPO plans for Ant Group, Alibaba's financial services spinoff, and launched an antitrust investigation against Alibaba, a rare level of reprisal against one of China's crown jewel companies.

Public figures in serious trouble with the Chinese Communist Party sometimes end their disappearances with scripted public apologies or fast-tracked court trials. One recently ended with the CEO being executed.

Alibaba shares were up about 9 percent Wednesday in Hong Kong after merely Ma making a public statement. washingtonpost.com

In Blow to Retailers, Pandemic Made Online Upstarts Even Stronger

The shift to e-commerce and falling ad rates during the pandemic has helped digital brands poach customers from legacy chains.

Digital brands looked headed for a reckoning a year ago, with bloated valuations, rising advertising costs and ever more competition.

Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit the U.S. and gave a giant gift to brands that mainly sell directly through the web. With their brick-and-mortar competition shuttered and the virus raging, Americans flocked online and loaded up on home goods, comfy clothes and much more. And this wasn't just 20-somethings, but pretty much everyone.

This helped remove a big hurdle to continued growth for direct-to-consumer brands: finding new customers. The bulk of these businesses got off the ground by flooding social media with ads targeted at younger shoppers. This created a winning formula and digital brands flourished last decade.

However, they increasingly faced rising marketing costs as brands selling everything from subscription toothbrushes to cleaning services poured cash into courting the same young cohort. That led many to try to push into the mainstream by opening stores and advertising on television or through direct mail to win shoppers it couldn't reach online. Covid helped on this front, too, because industries hit hard by the pandemic, such as restaurants and travel, slashed advertising. That brought down ad rates on the web and in traditional media, creating a big opening for smaller brands. bloomberg.com

E-Commerce Companies Still Have Room to Grow

Why Packaging Is the Next Frontier For E-Commerce Optimization







Burglars raid Balenciaga flagship store in Manhattan; $60,000 loss
A crew of burglars raided the Balenciaga flagship store on the Upper East Side early Tuesday - less than a month after thieves took off with $60,000 worth of bags from the luxury shop's SoHo location, according to police. About eight or nine men smashed the glass door of the luxury fashion store on Madison Avenue near East 59th Street around 3:30 a.m., cops said. The thieves took 30 bags ranging from around $1,850 to around $2,300, police said. nypost.com

Mechanicsburg, PA: Group tried to steal $13K of merchandise from Best Buy in central Pa., caused thousands in damage
Six people were responsible for attempting to steal roughly $13,000 worth of laptops and tablets from a Mechanicsburg area Best Buy, then assaulting bystanders as they fled the scene, police said. Silver Spring Township police said the failed theft took place around 2:09 p.m. Sunday at the Best Buy on the 6400 block of the Carlisle Pike. Three young adults and three juveniles are accused of trying to steal the merchandise, assaulting bystanders who tried to stop them and causing $6,000 in damages to the Best Buy, according to police. pennlive.com

Cleveland, OH: Home Depot robber wanted by Cleveland Police for shoving employee before taking off with cart full of tools
Cleveland Police are asking for help identifying the man accused of robbing the Home Depot at Steelyard Commons by shoving an employee as he escaped with a cart full of stolen tools. Police said he stole walked into the store on Dec. 28, filled his cart with miscellaneous tools, passed the registers, and left. But when a loss prevention employee stopped the suspect between the double door entrance, the suspect shoved the employee, escalating the theft to a robbery before bolting to the parking lot, according to police. cleveland19.com

Napa, CA: Home Depot shoplifters nabbed at casino in San Pablo
Multiple law enforcement agencies participated in the pursuit and arrest of two men accused of shoplifting Sunday night at the Napa Home Depot store. Police were notified shortly before 7 p.m. that three shoplifting suspects had departed South Napa Marketplace in a U-Haul van with Arizona plates. Officers attempted to pull over the van on Highway 221, but the driver did not yield, police said. Three Napa Sheriff's units took up the chase when the van got to Highway 29 at Airport Road.

The Solano division of the California Highway Patrol joined the pursuit, police said. The chase ended at the San Pablo Casino where the three suspects fled on foot. Two suspects were apprehended and booked into the Napa County jail, police said. Ern Estrada, 34, was booked for possible charges of obstructing a peace officer, criminal conspiracy and receiving stolen property. Yu Ben Jason, 34, was booked on these misdemeanors as well as three felonies: felon in possession of a firearm, reckless evading a peace officer and carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle. Yu was identified as the driver and had multiple warrants for his arrest, police said. During a search of the vehicle, a 9mm Glock clone and ammo were found, police said. napavalleyregister.com

Orland Park, IL: 'Smash & Grab' Burglary At Orland Park Target, taking multiple iPhones

Yonkers, NY: Woman Accused Of Stealing From Macy's, over $5,000 of merchandise

7 time Lowe's Shoplifter 'charged with a seldom-used offense of organized retail crime'; total of items valued at $1,300

Ardmore, PA: $1,000 Worth Of Items Stolen From Sephora

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Shootings & Deaths

(Update) Chicago, IL: Woman held hostage, shot at Evanston IHOP during deadly shooting spree has died
A woman who was shot while being held hostage in an Evanston IHOP during a deadly shooting spree on Jan. 9 has died. The gunman, Jason Nightengale, randomly killed three people in Chicago before going to Evanston, where he shot Torres. Marta Torres, 61, sustained a gunshot wound to the neck and her condition was unknown after a 32-year-old held her hostage and shot her. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said she died on Saturday. fox32chicago.com

Fort Washington, MD: Prince George's County police investigate robbery and homicide at C-store
Prince George's County police have been investigating a homicide after receiving a call for report of a robbery at a convenience store in Fort Washington. Police received the call around 1:04 p.m. Monday. When officers arrived at Food Zone, a convenience store located at 12500 Livingston Road, they found a man with trauma who died on the scene. According to dispatch audio obtained from OpenMhz, one of the responding officers is heard mentioning, that a man is shot while also investigating a carjacking at the same location. fox5dc.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Frankfort, KY: Legislation: Kentucky Felony Theft Charges Have Lifelong Impact, Balloon Prison Population
The dollar amount of property damage or theft often determines whether a person is charged with a felony. For decades, Kentucky's felony theft threshold was $300. In 2009, lawmakers bumped it up to $500. Amanda Hall, smart justice policy strategist for the ACLU of Kentucky, said the state's felony theft laws haven't kept pace with inflation, and other criminal justice reform advocates agree. "If you receive a theft charge and the merchandise is $500 or over, you are charged with a felony conviction," Hall confirmed. "In today's economy, that would mean a cell phone." Recent legislation sponsored by a group of Republican lawmakers would increase the state's felony theft threshold to $1000. Hall added felony convictions can remain on a person's record for a lifetime and lead to barriers in housing, employment and education.

People with felonies are also denied the right to vote. Felony thefts are expungeable, but under state law, a person can't apply for an expungement until at least five years after probation and parole. Hall pointed to research showing that increasing the amount of felony charges doesn't encourage more thefts. One 2018 study from Pew found property crime in states that increased their thresholds either fell or stayed the same. She said surrounding states have thresholds twice as high or greater. "We can look at states like Ohio, which is $1,000, Georgia, which is $1,500, Alabama, which is $1,500, Tennessee, which is $1,000," Hall outlined. Kentucky ranks in the top 10 nationwide for its per-capita incarceration rate, third per capita for the number of incarcerated women and second per capita for the number of children who've experienced parental incarceration. publicnewsservice.org

Northampton County, PA: Woman Stole Mentos and cigarettes, then Tried to Flee in Ambulance
A 19-year-old woman from Hellertown is facing felony robbery, attempted motor vehicle theft and other charges after police say she stole cigarettes and candy from a convenience store and then tried to flee the scene in an ambulance that was parked nearby. sauconsource.com

Grand Rapids, MI: Man accused of stealing 2,600 pounds of brass and aluminum from work; valued at over $50,000

Floyd County, GA: Female employee arrested for $3,000 cash theft from Gas Station




Best Buy - Mechanicsburg, PA - Robbery
C-Store - Allen County, KS - Burglary
C-Store - Erie, PA - Burglary
Dollar General - Roanoke, VA - Armed Robbery
Guns - Southern Pines, NC - Burglary
Handbags - New York City, NY - Burglary
Home Depot - Cleveland, OH - Robbery
Jewelry - Shirley, NY - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Union Gap, WA - Robbery
Jewelry - Salem, OR - Robbery
Liquor - Elmhurst, IL - Burglary
Liquor - Gary, IN - Robbery
Motorcycle - Assumption Parish, LA - Burglary
Pharmacy - Bradford Township, PA - Burglary
Pharmacy - Hoboken, NJ - Burglary
Restaurant - North Liberty, IN - Armed Robbery
Target - Orland Park, IL - Burglary


Daily Totals:
• 8 robberies
• 9 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Click to enlarge map



Erin Gutierrez, CFI named On Road LP Risk Manager for Amazon

Efran Ali promoted to Regional Loss Prevention Director - Pacific Region for Ross Stores, Inc.

Submit Your New Hires/Promotions or New Position






Featured Job Spotlights


Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
Raleigh, NC - posted Dec. 14
As a Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst for Staples, you will conduct LP operational field audits remote, virtual and in person, within a base of 60 retail stores to ensure compliance to operational standards to drive operational excellence and preserve profitability...

Leader, Asset & Profit Protection
San Fran/Chicago/NY/West Palm Beach - posted Dec. 14
As the leader of the Data/Analytics & Investigations strategy, you should have strong analytical/investigation skills, the drive to innovate, and the ability to build strong partnerships to lead through the influence of others. They will be personable, open to learning, collaborating with others...

District Asset Protection Manager
Seattle, WA - posted Dec. 11
As the District Asset Protection Manager you will lead administration of Asset Protection programs and training for an assigned district in order to drive sales, profits, and a customer service culture

Regional Manager LP, Audit & Firearms Compliance
IL, WI, MN, IA, ND, SD, NE, OK, MO & KS - posted Dec. 9
The Regional Loss Prevention Manager is responsible for the control and reduction of shrinkage at the stores in their Territory. Investigate and resolves all matters that jeopardize or cause a loss to the company's assets

Customer Success Specialists
Multiple Locations - posted Oct. 9
The role of the Customer Success Specialist is to engage, empower, and excite our community. As a Customer Success Specialist, your primary responsibility is to ensure both retailers and law enforcement, who make up our community, have great experiences and achieve real crime reduction outcomes from using our platform.
Apply Here

Sales Representatives
NuTech National - posted Oct. 13
NuTech National, an established and rapidly growing 40+ year electronic security company is expanding our National Sales Team. Seeking motivated, driven and successful sales reps to expand our national retail and governmental vertical markets. Top pay, benefits and signing bonus available. Please apply to melissa@nutechnational.com

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Handling the big question - Why did you leave? is the hardest of them all if, in fact, your departure was involuntary. Like Bum Phillips, the old Houston Oilers coach, once said at a luncheon I attended, "There's two types of coaches - those that have been fired and those who are waiting to be fired." And quite frankly he was almost dead-on as over 70% of executives will face involuntary departures from an employer during their career. The best position to take is one of absolute straightforwardness. Be open - be honest - and be reflective right from the beginning. But get it over quick and deal with it right at the beginning of the interview and don't make it a long-winded response. Certainly review it - rehearse it - make sure it answers the question. But get it out of the way and move on in your own mind. Look to the future and leave it behind you.

Just a Thought,

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