The future of retail is autonomous. However, with the benefits of autonomy come unique security risks that must be addressed in order to ensure a safe shopping experience for both customers and store owners.
It’s no secret autonomous stores are quickly becoming a popular choice for retailers looking to streamline operations and enhance the customer experience. Evidently, the future of retail is autonomous. However, with the benefits of autonomy come unique security risks that must be addressed in order to ensure a safe shopping experience for both customers and store owners.
In this blog, we’ll explore the key security challenges facing autonomous stores and provide practical tips for keeping these stores secure. From preventing cyber threats to safeguarding physical assets, our tips will help you create a secure and reliable autonomous store that customers can trust.
THE FUTURE OF RETAIL & ITS SECURITY CHALLENGES
As with all new technologies, security is a top priority for those implementing the tech and those using it. Autonomous retail store technology is no exception. The most common concerns of building an autonomous store include potential product loss and cyberattacks. Let’s take a look at both challenges and discuss solutions to overcome these worries.
Given that there are no human associates to operate autonomous stores, many retailers are concerned about the potential increase in product loss. It’s understandable! A recent global study found that self-checkout systems “accounted for as much as 23% of [a company’s] total unknown store losses, with malicious losses representing 48%.”
Luckily, there are a few ways to prevent theft in your autonomous store. Consider using frictionless checkout systems with camera-only computer vision where shoppers don’t need to wait in line, stop to scan or pay. All they need to do is walk into the store with their credit card or app, pick up the items they need, and walk out with their receipt sent via email or SMS a few minutes later. Camera-only computer vision will accurately identify which items a person walked out of the store with. This way, the customer is charged fairly and accurately and the store is gaining the proper funds for the items removed.
However, if you want to keep your self-checkout systems, we recommend implementing security tools such as network cameras or IP audio solutions. These technologies can help mitigate the concerns around loss prevention in autonomous stores. Network cameras provide surveillance coverage, allowing for real-time monitoring and recording of activities at checkout stations. IP audio solutions can alert shoppers with audio warnings if, say, they’ve gone into the exit zone without purchasing the products in their hands.
By adopting these security measures, retailers can embrace the future of retail and deter potential theft incidents in their autonomous stores.
As the future of retail increasingly relies on technology and artificial intelligence (AI), many retailers are concerned about potential cyber threats that could compromise the security of their autonomous store networks and systems.
For instance, one notable example of cyber threats is the Lampion malware attacks, which were initially observed in 2019. These attacks specifically target data theft by deceiving customers and gaining unauthorized access to compromised accounts. The threat actors behind these attacks employ phishing emails to autonomous store shoppers, urging them to download a deceptive “Proof of Payment” document. If a shopper falls victim to this deception and enters their information to download the document, their credit card details and other personal information could be stolen.
That’s why it’s vital to ensure the software and hardware you use to power your autonomous store has built-in cybersecurity measures to protect your business and your customers. By investing in secure software and hardware, you can establish a strong defense against cyber threats, such as:
- Malware attacks
- Phishing attempts
- Unauthorized access and account takeover/compromise
This not only protects your customers’ personal information including payment details, but also preserves the trust and confidence they place in your autonomous store. Moreover, it demonstrates your commitment to maintaining a safe and secure shopping environment, helping to mitigate potential financial losses and reputational damage that can arise from successful cyberattacks.
AIFI’S AUTONOMOUS STORES ARE BUILT WITH SECURITY IN MIND
AiFi’s autonomous technology places security at the forefront of our stores. With flexible customer entry and exit options including app and credit card platform integrations, turnstiles for gated entry, and free-standing kiosks for open or hybrid entry, AiFi enables you to customize your store to fit your unique security needs.
“From the software algorithms that drive our AI-powered systems to the hardware components that form the foundation of our autonomous stores, security is ingrained in every aspect,” says João Diogo Falcão, CTO at AiFi.
Not to mention, our partnerships with Microsoft Cloud for Retail and Verizon’s 5G network allow AiFi to ensure security at the highest level. Leveraging the robust infrastructure and advanced security features of Microsoft Cloud for Retail, we can securely store and process data, implementing industry-leading encryption and access controls. Additionally, by utilizing Verizon’s reliable and ultra-fast 5G network, we can establish secure and seamless communication between our autonomous stores and backend systems, minimizing potential vulnerabilities.
Securing autonomous stores is a critical aspect of embracing the future of retail. While the benefits of autonomy are evident, it’s crucial to address the unique security challenges that come with it. By implementing preventive measures against product loss and strengthening cybersecurity protocols, retailers can build trustworthy and reliable autonomous stores.
Step into the future of retail with AiFi. Book your demo today!