— By Scott Thomas —

Setting up your Security Operations Center (SOC): a checklist for retailers.

Today, due to a combination of a changing threat environment and technology advances, more retailers are building SOCs to support store safety and investigations, and help make operational staff more efficient. Ryan Themm, corporate investigations manager at supercenter Meijer, has noted that the remote operations center (ROC) they launched to provide a complete view across all of their stores and sites has been instrumental in helping them significantly reduce budget spent on fraud mitigation.

As more retailers take this approach, we have distilled the most successful SOC-building strategies into 7 key areas retailers should consider when designing a SOC.

1. Configuration: Extend Reach and Flexibility

Arrange the SOC strategically, creating collaborative workspaces and optimizing monitor visibility.

Avoid having windows, and limit access to ensure security and minimize distractions. Whether your IT infrastructure is on-premises, cloud-based, or a combination of both, be sure to take the potential impact of that IT infrastructure on your SOC’s efficiency.

2. Collaboration: Enhance Teamwork Inside and Outside Your SOC

Install video walls to display real-time feeds and enhance overall visibility. Consider investing in modern SIP (session initiation protocol)-based communications tools to enable seamless information exchange and real-time communication. Streamline communication by establishing a dedicated email address to handle all requests. Consider implementing a collaborative decision management system for efficient task assignment.

3. Context: Get a Unified View

Unify your video surveillance, access control, incident management and other security systems on a single, open platform. Leverage advanced mapping features to visualize and comprehend events across facilities. Enhance contextual awareness by connecting IoT devices and aggregating data into your unified security platform.

4. Clarity: Streamline Information to get Actionable Insights

Create user-friendly rules that eliminate false alarms and reduce operator overhead. Automate tasks to minimize noise and emphasize actionable insights, and implement tools to filter through data, so operators can quickly address potential threats.

5. Coordination: Escalate and Respond to Events Efficiently

Set up dynamic operating procedures so you can tailor responses to different incident phases. Assigning machine-based escalation rights can help your store react more quickly during emergencies.

6. Compliance: Comply with Regulations

Fine-tune user privileges to ensure regulatory compliance, and facilitate forensic investigations by putting comprehensive incident reports in place.

7. Cybersecurity: Stay Ahead of Cyber Threats

Set up automated operating procedures to keep track of maintenance tasks and remain cyber secure. Finally, choose software that facilitates easy export in native format and file sharing while maintaining a robust audit trail.

— Scott Thomas is U.S. national director, signature brands, at Montreal-based Genetec and a member of the Loss Prevention Magazine Advisory Board.

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