Category Archives: News articles

Is Your Blackberry Lowering Your IQ?

A good article from over at the BusinessWeek site citing research that found that communication overload causes a professional’s IQ to drop 10 percentage points.  Our addiction to our emails, VM’s, text messages, tweets, Facebook and the like is dysfunctional on many levels, but perhaps none so insidious as growing inability to focus our undivided attention for more than a few minutes.

The issue used to be that when we were at home, we were thinking about what needed to be done at work and when we were working, we were thinking that we needed to be spending more time at home with the family.  But, now we feel like we have to be everywhere, all the time!  When we are on the cell phone, we are checking email.  While reading email, our phone alerts us that we have a text message.  When we are on Facebook, we feel like we need to keep tabs on LinkedIn and when we are at lunch with a colleague that we haven’t talked to for a few months, we are constantly checking our Blackberry.

Perhaps the future will belong to those who use all of these technologies but have the courage to do so on their own terms?  Read the article here.

UK e-tailers don’t understand PCI DSS

Around 60% of UK online retailers do not know whether they are in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), according to a survey from Sage Pay.  Around two thirds of the 1000 SMEs polled by the security vendor say payment fraud remains one of the most daunting elements of running an online business.

In addition, only a small proportion of respondents could demonstrate a clear understanding of the financial risks and implications associated with conducting business online.   Only 39% of retailers questioned actually understand the definition of PCI DSS compliance, while 65% do not believe that they are personally responsible for covering the implications of payments fraud committed on their site.

In Legal First, Data-Breach Suit Targets Auditor

Thanks to Tim Shipman for calling this article to our attention.  This case is asking the question about how much responsibility an IT security auditing firm shoud have for a data-breach when they have signed off on a clean bill of health.

“The case, which appears to be among the first of its kind against a security auditing firm, highlights flaws in the standards that were established by the financial industry to protect consumer bank data. It also exposes the ineffectiveness of an auditing system that was supposed to guarantee that card processors and other businesses complied with the standards.”  Read the article…

Using EAS Pedestals for Advertising

Interesting article in Brandweek about the effectiveness of EAS pedestal ads. 

Security-pedestal media buys, which are plastered on the security screens in the fronts of stores, are more cost-efficient and reach more customers than shelf advertising, one advertising firm says.  Read the article…

I would not recommend basing your ROI for an EAS implementation significantly on this aspect, but it certainly warrants attention if you are going to go forward or having existing systems in place.

Human Resources in the Board Room?

As a follow-up to the “Why We Hate HR” post, I have put links below to two items.  The first, by Andrew Sobel writing in Talent Management Magazine, is geared towards the HR professional and prescribes the steps they should take to become a more integral part of the senior management team.  The second, by David McCann writing in CFO Magazine, is even more scathing than the original article I posted here last week.

As I pointed out previously, the point of posting these articles here on a blog related to retail loss prevention and assets protection is not to make fun of the HR group.  Rather, it is a cautionary tale to us on how senior executives often perceive staff functions with specialized expertise. 

HR: A Trusted Management Advisor


Corporations are leaving no stone unturned as they try to reduce expenses and eliminate all but the most essential activities. While it’s easy to get caught up in daily task execution during this time, talent managers would do well to focus on the most critical role they can play right now: being a trusted partner and counselor to senior management.

In fact, HR is in an ideal position to step up and assume this role. But how is this relationship built? How do talent managers go beyond their HR expert label and become a necessary and critical asset top management uses to shape the organization?  Read more…

Memo to CFOs: Don’t Trust HR

A professor says most human resources professionals are ill-equipped to carry out value-added workforce planning and transformation. Addressing a crowd of about 300 financial executives this morning, a professor of human resources soundly denounced the corporate HR profession for being mostly unable to provide analytics that are useful in making workforce decisions that build economic value.

Most companies today spend too little effort on attracting and retaining top strategic talent and too much on satisfying the rest of the employee base, asserted Rutgers University’s Richard Beatty, who spoke at a general session during the CFO Rising conference in Orlando. In fact, he claimed that typical human resources activities have no relevance to an organization’s success. “HR people try to perpetuate the idea that job satisfaction is critical,” Beatty said. “But there is no evidence that engaging employees impacts financial returns.”