Leading off the final day of the RILA Asset Protection Conference was a General Session titled “Bigger, Faster, Weirder: What You Need To Know About Cybersecurity Trends for 2016” with Wendy Nather, research director with the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) and Steve Hunter, director of global investigations at Walmart. Data theft, extortion and fraud are being automated to grander scales, and new cyber-attacks are keeping retailers and other companies around the world on our toes. This conversation focused on taking a closer look at the intersection of the asset protection/loss prevention and cyber worlds, where criminals are placing fraudulent orders among multiple e-commerce sites, taking over data center power management, and even exploiting “smart” toys at an unprecedented level. The retail-specific threat intelligence provided insights for the audience to further support detection and prevention strategies for our e-commerce venues.
The closing General Session of the conference featured another discussion with Dr. David Matsumoto, this time focused on “Microexpressions: More Than Meets the Eye.” The ability to evaluate truthfulness, detect deception, and assess credibility is a crucial skill for professionals whose jobs require interviews, interrogations, and information elicitation of others. Decades of scientific research have provided a wealth of information about potential cues to truthfulness and deceit as many of those in the loss prevention profession are well aware. In this presentation Dr. Matsumoto discussed the myths about cues to deceit, examined recent research findings, and shared his perspective on innovative training initiatives for field operatives and decision makers.
The conference then closed with a workshop on “Tips for Evaluating Truthfulness Using Nonverbal Behavior” with Dr. Matsumoto. The workshop built on the foundation provided by Dr. Matsumoto’s morning keynote, teaching participants through practical exercises how to evaluate truthfulness and recognizing micro-facial expressions of emotion. Dr. Matsumoto shared his training methods on how lies leak out through the face via involuntary “micro-expressions” and detecting signs of “leakage.”
5 Takeaway’s from the 2016 RILA Asset Protection Conference
There were many important messages that we can take away from this year’s conference, and many different directions that we could look towards based on the sessions, the speakers, the industry leaders in attendance, the products featured in the Exhibition Hall, and the other events surrounding loss prevention’s week in Dallas. Here are a few thoughts that most would agree provided a theme as we move forward in 2016:
Loss prevention must continue to look for ways to remain relevant. If LP professionals wish to remain relevant in today’s retail environment, we must expand our reach, our perceptions, and our responsibilities to best fit the needs of the organization—to include all areas of the business and things that matter to our customers and enhancing the customer experience.
The culture of the country is changing, and we must change with it. With the rapid pace of change that has taken place in our society over the past decade, we are at a tipping point on many levels—with our politics, with innovation, with our products, and with our approach to the business as a whole.
Every loss prevention professional must continue to take the steps to build their own brand. Through the diversity of information and opportunities for professional growth, every conference experience underscores the importance of continuing to build on our individual professional development plans, as well as the urgent need to keep our teams and our department contemporary and forward-thinking. There are always new strategies to learn, and new lessons to help us build upon the foundation that we have established over the course of our professional experience.
There is power in numbers. The conference experience is about much more than the superb learning sessions that are provided. While this information is critical as well as progressive, it is the power of the team that often provides the greatest learning experiences. The open-forum format that is offered through most of the Breakout Sessions provides practical application of the information and additional perspectives that benefit all who attend. The ability–and willingness–of the loss prevention community to share their knowledge and experiences is the true gem of the conference environment.
There is strength in community. Loss prevention professionals consistently show us the essence of community and a willingness to collaborate on any number of projects for the common good of the retail industry. We see this on a regular and consistent basis, whether it involves a research initiative, educational presentations, investigative efforts, and other common plans, programs, or strategies. But this is perhaps most often accentuated when we come together for a common cause. The charitable nature of our community and the willingness to step up for others in time of need have provided a consistent message; and this was once again demonstrated through the charitable contributions made to the Loss Prevention Benevolent Fund this week. As the recent events in Atlanta clearly remind us, our profession can take sudden, dangerous and sometimes tragic turns. In such times we tend to rally together to show our compassion and support. Gratitude to everyone that offered a donation this past week; and for once again demonstrating the reasons why we are proud of who we are and what we do.