Stopping Theft in Its Tracks

Stopping Theft in Its Tracks

Increasing cost of technology requires line of defense

Stopping Theft in Its Tracks Increasing cost of technology requires line of defenseThe evolution of line security for handheld electronics in retail stores has been nothing short of amazing. When Scorpion Security Products launched its Scorpion security device, telecommunication and consumer electronics companies around the globe wanted the most unobtrusive, minimal security possible. If invisible security could have been provided, retailers would have jumped at the chance, especially those selling phones, tablets, computers and cameras.

Due to the increasing cost of these products and their amazing technology, the level of theft around the world has increased significantly. The loss has been so staggering that many retailers are now pleading for a highly-secure, bolt-down solution that the “cut-and-run” thieves will not be able to beat. These bolt-down versions are nice for interactions but are so secure that thieves are unable to loosen them.

Scorpion has been ahead of this trend during the last five years. It is only in the most recent year that more and more of these retailers are now requesting or specifying the highest level of security. They realize that having no products on display is far worse than not having a phone or tablet highly secured. After all, the day of holding the smartphone to your ear to see how the phone feels is fading fast. Shoppers still do it out of habit when able; however, when they cannot, they will know how to operate an iPhone or Android smartphone just fine.

Never Taken for Granted

It is important that security not be taken for granted so competing line security companies continue to look for advanced technology to bring better solutions to the market.

For example, Scorpion has recently partnered with a Netherlands- based company, SellMore, to create a new, RFID-driven, bolt-down security solution that is able to be removed at any time for showing customers or remerchandising departments.

Security companies that stay ahead of their competition look more at partnering with other technology-based companies to gain an advantage at securing these valuable products better than others. As business dictates, those that continuously evolve with assistance are far more likely to be successful than those that continue to create within and are not keeping up with the latest trends.

The Scorpion Difference

The difference with Scorpion products is that they were created with the sole purpose of securing handheld electronics. Most, if not all, of our competitors were securing many other products when the cellular boom took place in the early 1990s. This created a unique opportunity for Scorpion to create specific, product-driven solutions versus modifying current products to secure and properly merchandise cellular devices.

Just like in any business or purchasing decisions, quality should be the first priority; however, in many cases, the product purchased is far inferior to the required level of security. There are many companies that now provide and promote “quick fix” solutions to security needs, in which the supplier ends up explaining the poor quality of the product and reason for high theft versus explaining why their product is better, even at a little higher price.

There is no gray area when it comes to line security. To make sure shrinkage is kept to a minimum, it is important to invest in the line security products that will keep your products secured while providing a pleasant, end-user experience.

Levels of Security

There are various levels of security required in many retail locations. High-theft, large-traffic areas like New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago require the highest level of security available, like a bolt-down option or a pin and washer solution. The latter is a ?-inch-diameter, steel rod that cannot be cut but allows for the customer to pick up the phone or tablet from the display. There are also several levels of aircraft cable available that is extremely difficult to cut, providing an acceptable level of security while allowing the consumer to have full interaction with the product.

Medium and low-security areas, such as a mall kiosk that is staffed or a retail store with many associates, are less likely to need the highest level of security. These locations tend to use a standard mechanical product or even a hinged sensor, complete with an alarm system that provides a 100+ decibel alarm when cut or tampered with by a potential thief. These provide sufficient security and can be an excellent option for lower security areas.

Fool Proof Line Security

There have been solutions presented where a chip is placed under the battery or battery cover of a smart phone, with an RFID reader inside the store. If the product leaves its comfort zone, the alarm will sound. Great idea, right? NO. Little Johnny doesn’t know that the pretty, shiny phone lying on the counter is not his if there is nothing holding it in place. He picks it up and starts walking around the store; the alarm goes off every 10 seconds. A shopper’s worst nightmares come true. And, if thieves are willing to cut-and-run, this only allows them a quicker exit.

Line security needs to be fool proof enough that alarms are not sounding every five minutes. Most of us have been in stores where the alarms keep going off, and store personnel must stop what they are doing to go over and turn it off. False alarms turn your associates into police and your customers into suspects. This is not what line security is designed to do.

A combination of mechanical and electronic security prevents false alarms, since the phone, tablet or Phablet is physically secured to the alarm sensor; yet, many competitors simply do not provide this type of solution, causing major issues for retailers. Of course, everyone considers their product to be superior to others. Like the brand of car you drive, there are features and benefits to every brand, or in this case, line security supplier, that is more to the liking of the buyer.

Line security will continue to evolve, and there is good reason to believe someone will come up with a gimmick or technique that they will promote as the new highest level of security. However, everyone should always remember this: You cannot change the law of physics. Basic security of some type will always be required to keep honest people honest.

This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Security Today.


  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Survey: Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

  • Mobile Applications Are Empowering Security Personnel

    From real-time surveillance and access control management to remote monitoring and communications, a new generation of mobile applications is empowering security personnel to protect people and places. Mobile applications for physical security systems are emerging as indispensable tools to enhance safety. They also offer many features that are reshaping how modern security professionals approach their work. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • AC Nio

    AC Nio

    Aiphone, a leading international manufacturer of intercom, access control, and emergency communication products, has introduced the AC Nio, its access control management software, an important addition to its new line of access control solutions. 3

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3

  • Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden Door Controls is pleased to announce that, in response to soaring customer demand, it has expanded its range of ValueWave™ no-touch switches to include a narrow (slimline) version with manual override. This override button is designed to provide additional assurance that the request to exit switch will open a door, even if the no-touch sensor fails to operate. This new slimline switch also features a heavy gauge stainless steel faceplate, a red/green illuminated light ring, and is IP65 rated, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor use as part of an automatic door or access control system. ValueWave™ no-touch switches are designed for easy installation and trouble-free service in high traffic applications. In addition to this narrow version, the CM-221 & CM-222 Series switches are available in a range of other models with single and double gang heavy-gauge stainless steel faceplates and include illuminated light rings. 3