Happy couple enjoying in holiday shopping

Data protection in retail: are your seasonal employees putting your data at risk?

by Andrew Goldner, Industry Services Specialist


Ensure your seasonal retail employees aren't putting your data at risk.

Read time: 4 minutes

Preparing for holiday sales can be exciting and a bit chaotic. However, seasonal employees joining your organization can bring much-needed relief for stretched staff during an exciting time of year. Unfortunately, new staffers can also create new security vulnerabilities. Data protection in retail should always be top of mind.

Ensuring the security of your network is paramount for your business's success. Employees, the primary cause of data breaches, can be the gatekeepers and gatecrashers of your data fortress. While most incidents result from unintentional errors versus malicious acts, it doesn’t make the threat any less dangerous to your retail business.

The arrival of seasonal or contracted team members adds an intriguing layer of complexity to the security landscape. Newcomers to the security stage may unknowingly bring habits from previous workplaces, which could create vulnerabilities.

In a Dell survey, 72% of employees are willing to share sensitive, confidential, or regulated data – not maliciously, but because they value efficient processes over security.¹

Seasonal retail employee security training and guidelines

New or seasonal employees are already busy with onboarding tasks, and it’s best if your IT teams provide immediate security guidelines. While current employees are aware of your security practices, your seasonal hires and contractors will need comprehensive security awareness training to help close this knowledge gap.

When thinking about data protection in retail, it’s best to design your onboarding processes with the assumption that each new employee has no existing knowledge about security best practices.

Include fundamental topics to ensure they’re not writing passwords on sticky notes, opening suspicious emails, and downloading attachments. These actions may seem like a remedial course for the more tech-savvy hires, but reinforcing it for everyone is still essential.

Data protection in retail means onboarding processes that include security training

Additional things to consider during the onboarding process:

  • Scheduling an in-person meeting with an IT manager or employee with a deep understanding of your security policies

  • Enrollment in cybersecurity awareness training immediately and complement the training with regular phishing tests

  • Automated reminders, password security prompts, and email warning tags can help keep team members secure

  • A contact sheet for employees with questions or emergency next steps in the event of an accidental data breach

  • A BYOD agreement or contract for employees to sign if they're using their personal devices on the job

  • Automated personalized reminders for staying up to date with security best practices

How can you update your data protection policy in retail?

Moving to cloud services for things like collaboration, communication apps, and email helps streamline the process of getting seasonal or new hires up and running. This reduces the number of ad-hoc configurations and the potential errors or inconsistencies along the way.

Due to the widespread usage of personal devices and robust consumer cloud services, businesses are now losing control over information they once had safeguarded. As a result, the employees have been entrusted with the duty of protecting the company’s confidential information.

To prevent security breaches, companies need to take control by automating systems and imposing mandatory restrictions on employees where necessary.

Leveraging and implementing multifactor authentication and strict password requirements are a few examples to ensure your staff and IT teams aren’t disclosing their network credentials.

How can you take back control of employee cybersecurity?

Why can’t you have both user-friendly processes and security? Here is where we can help as a solutions integrator.

Moving to cloud services for productivity apps and workflow tools dramatically streamlines getting seasonal and new hires up and running, reducing ad-hoc configuration and potential errors or inconsistencies.

Tapping into cloud services also helps simplify the off-boarding process for when employees leave. Proper off-boarding is equally vital for protecting your business. In fact, 72% of employees admit to taking a form of company data with them when they depart from a job.²

Finally, what tech tools do your seasonal workers or new hires need? Work with your employees to solicit critical feedback to ensure they have what’s needed to be effective. If not, there’s a chance they’ll turn to alternate, unsecured solutions, which puts company information at risk and out of your control.

Let us help keep you safe by strengthening your cybersecurity defense. Don’t miss out. Get a head start on building a more resilient IT infrastructure with our Cybersecurity Services and ransomware containment, which help limit your vulnerability and risk to ransomware.

If you can pair the right application for the environment that makes the end user’s life easier while keeping your data secure, you will be successful every time. If you think about the most successful companies and what they all have in common, they focus on simplifying the end-user experience with enhanced security.

Let’s continue the cybersecurity conversation.

Andrew Goldner.jpg
Since 2005, Andrew has successfully held a role in sales engineering and architecture design. Andrew now provides award-winning sales support for Ricoh's strategic software initiatives by engaging with customers' IT teams to innovate and co-create. Andrew's specialties include enterprise content management software, data capture, variable data output, data encryption and loss prevention, compliance, and expertise in consulting on Microsoft-based IT solutions (MSCE).

Andrew Goldner

Industry Services Specialist, US Direct Sales

Ricoh USA

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  1. 1https://www.dell.com/en-us/blog/sensitive-data-will-shared-make-sure-secure/
  2. 2https://www.spiceworks.com/it-security/cyber-risk-management/guest-article/great-resignation-and-offboarding-addressing-the-cyber-asset-management-risk/