The retail industry is undergoing a significant period of change. Consumer demand is constantly evolving led by rising expectations for an improved experience, both online and in-store. Today’s connected consumer firmly sets the pace for change and retailers must respond to stay in the race. What can visitors to Checkpoint’s stand at EuroShop 2020 expect to see?

78% of consumers want an enjoyable in-store experience, coupled with store design contributing to a potential sales increase of up to 40%. This means a visually appealing and seamless customer experience is vital to retailers in today’s competitive landscape.

Seamless consumer experience

In retail, supply chain visibility is essential to create a seamless consumer experience

Checkpoint’s investment in R&D and its ongoing collaboration with customers, is forging new EAS & RFID antenna design possibilities. At EuroShop 2020, visitors can learn how the next-generation antennas balance loss prevention with store aesthetics. The broad product range of antennas includes many varieties, from unobtrusive in-lane protection to free-standing, wall or door mounted sensors. Checkpoint has a solution for every store format and industry.

In retail, supply chain visibility is essential to create a seamless consumer experience. The rise of omnichannel retailing means consumers expect immediate service and exceptional levels of personalization. How can retailers create the same experience whether in-store, online or via a mobile device?

End-To-End solution

RFID-based supply chain solutions offer an end-to-end solution. By building an agile and collaborative supply chain, retailers can gain real-time information visibility that is reliable. This facilitates intelligent inventory management and decision making, maximizing merchandise value with timely sales opportunities.

LPP will, in corporation with Checkpoint, present the results of its large-scale RFID program

Find out how RFID can help you in this omnichannel retail world. On Monday, 17 February, LPP will, in corporation with Checkpoint, present the results of its large-scale RFID program which saw improved merchandise availability, operational efficiency and the consumer experience. Head to the Retail Technology Stage in Hall 6 from 15:40-16:00 to find out more. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

Ground-Breaking antenna technologies

Checkpoint’s specialist in-house RFID Label Applications Development Team work closely with RFID chip suppliers. At EuroShop 2020 Checkpoint will showcase the latest RFID tags and labels, including sustainable developments; together with ground-breaking antenna technologies to enhance the user experience. The continued expansion of its world-class global footprint will allow Checkpoint to serve customers the most effectively with all label needs.

As the largest RF label manufacturer in the world, Checkpoint has made significant investments into R&D, manufacturing, testing and digital printing. Checkpoint will continue to lead label innovation in 2020, setting new standards in the industry and achieving the improbable with first-to-market labels. Stop by to see groundbreaking new RF labels that can now protect product categories' that could not previously be effectively protected.

Protect high-Theft merchandise

Checkpoint’s software solutions help retailers measure, monitor, and manage stores

Connected stores merge retail and technology, bringing the retail store experience into the digital age with Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Checkpoint’s software solutions help retailers measure, monitor, and manage stores, with actionable data helping them sell more and lose less. Going beyond EAS, Checkpoint’s software solutions allow stores to enhance the entire customer journey by better satisfying their needs and desires, while delivering better profits for retailers in return.

Engaging, creative packaging design is an essential part of the marketing mix and vital to differentiate brands from competitors. At EuroShop 2020, Checkpoint will also unveil new, security accessories engineered to protect high-theft merchandise without compromising the look and feel of the products.

Helping retailers improve performance

From labeling innovations designed for any packaging material to Alpha High-Theft Solutions, Checkpoint offers a solution for every product and packaging format.

Mike French at Checkpoint Systems UK, commented: “We understand the complex challenges facing retailers and that there is no single answer. At EuroShop we will highlight the tangible solutions that will help retailers improve performance and deliver a seamless consumer experience.” Visitors are more than welcome to find out more about Checkpoint’s intelligent retail solutions at EuroShop from 16-20 February 2020 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

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Water Plant Attack Emphasizes Cyber’s Impact On Physical Security
Water Plant Attack Emphasizes Cyber’s Impact On Physical Security

At an Oldsmar, Fla., water treatment facility on Feb. 5, an operator watched a computer screen as someone remotely accessed the system monitoring the water supply and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million. The chemical, also known as lye, is used in small concentrations to control acidity in the water. In larger concentrations, the compound is poisonous – the same corrosive chemical used to eat away at clogged drains. The impact of cybersecurity attacks The incident is the latest example of how cybersecurity attacks can translate into real-world, physical security consequences – even deadly ones.Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. The computer system was set up to allow remote access only to authorized users. The source of the unauthorized access is unknown. However, the attacker was only in the system for 3 to 5 minutes, and an operator corrected the concentration back to 100 parts per million soon after. It would have taken a day or more for contaminated water to enter the system. In the end, the city’s water supply was not affected. There were other safeguards in place that would have prevented contaminated water from entering the city’s water supply, which serves around 15,000 residents. The remote access used for the attack was disabled pending an investigation by the FBI, Secret Service and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. On Feb. 2, a compilation of breached usernames and passwords, known as COMB for “Compilation of Many Breaches,” was leaked online. COMB contains 3.2 billion unique email/password pairs. It was later discovered that the breach included the credentials for the Oldsmar water plant. Water plant attacks feared for years Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that the attempt to poison the water supply should be treated as a “matter of national security.” “The incident at the Oldsmar water treatment plant is a reminder that our nation’s critical infrastructure is continually at risk; not only from nation-state attackers, but also from malicious actors with unknown motives and goals,” comments Mieng Lim, VP of Product Management at Digital Defense Inc., a provider of vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions.The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online “Our dependency on critical infrastructure – power grids, utilities, water supplies, communications, financial services, emergency services, etc. – on a daily basis emphasizes the need to ensure the systems are defended against any adversary,” Mieng Lim adds. “Proactive security measures are crucial to safeguard critical infrastructure systems when perimeter defenses have been compromised or circumvented. We have to get back to the basics – re-evaluate and rebuild security protections from the ground up.” "This event reinforces the increasing need to authenticate not only users, but the devices and machine identities that are authorized to connect to an organization's network,” adds Chris Hickman, Chief Security Officer at digital identity security vendor Keyfactor. “If your only line of protection is user authentication, it will be compromised. It's not necessarily about who connects to the system, but what that user can access once they're inside. "If the network could have authenticated the validity of the device connecting to the network, the connection would have failed because hackers rarely have possession of authorized devices. This and other cases of hijacked user credentials can be limited or mitigated if devices are issued strong, crypto-derived, unique credentials like a digital certificate. In this case, it looks like the network had trust in the user credential but not in the validity of the device itself. Unfortunately, this kind of scenario is what can happen when zero trust is your end state, not your beginning point." “The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online for the first time as part of digital transformation projects,” says Gareth Williams, Vice President - Secure Communications & Information Systems, Thales UK. “While the move towards greater automation and connected switches and control systems brings unprecedented opportunities, it is not without risk, as anything that is brought online immediately becomes a target to be hacked.” Operational technology to mitigate attacks Williams advises organizations to approach Operational Technology as its own entity and put in place procedures that mitigate against the impact of an attack that could ultimately cost lives. This means understanding what is connected, who has access to it and what else might be at risk should that system be compromised, he says. “Once that is established, they can secure access through protocols like access management and fail-safe systems.”  “The cyberattack against the water supply in Oldsmar should come as a wakeup call,” says Saryu Nayyar, CEO, Gurucul.  “Cybersecurity professionals have been talking about infrastructure vulnerabilities for years, detailing the potential for attacks like this, and this is a near perfect example of what we have been warning about,” she says.  Although this attack was not successful, there is little doubt a skilled attacker could execute a similar infrastructure attack with more destructive results, says Nayyar. Organizations tasked with operating and protecting critical public infrastructure must assume the worst and take more serious measures to protect their environments, she advises. Fortunately, there were backup systems in place in Oldsmar. What could have been a tragedy instead became a cautionary tale. Both physical security and cybersecurity professionals should pay attention.

What Are The Positive And Negative Effects Of COVID-19 To Security?
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The COVID-19 global pandemic had a life-changing impact on all of us in 2020, including a multi-faceted jolt on the physical security industry. With the benefit of hindsight, we can now see more clearly the exact nature and extent of that impact. And it’s not over yet: The pandemic will continue to be top-of-mind in 2021. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What have been the positive and negative effects of Covid-19 on the physical security industry in 2020? What impact will it have on 2021?

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Our Expert Panel Roundtable is an opinionated group. However, for a variety of reasons, we are sometimes guilty of not publishing their musings in a timely manner. At the end of 2020, we came across several interesting comments among those that were previously unpublished. Following is a catch-all collection of those responses, addressing some of the most current and important issues in the security marketplace in 2021.