Canadian Security Magazine

Retail Council of Canada embarks on new cybercrime awareness venture

Neil Sutton   

News Retail crime stoppers loss prevention rcc retail council of canada

The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) recently launched a new cybercrime prevention campaign to provide educational resources for retailers and their employees, from frontline workers to IT security professionals.

The Retail CyberSecure initiative, which kicked off at the beginning of this year, was made possible through the support of the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General and includes partnerships with the RCMP and the Ontario Provincial Police, among other organizations.

Rui Rodrigues, RCC

The program, which will continue to roll out throughout the year, comprises a series of six webinars along with downloadable guides and e-learning training modules. The resources are offered for free to achieve maximum impact, said Rui Rodrigues, the RCC’s executive advisor for loss prevention and risk management.

The issue of cybercrime has become more acute for retailers, he said, as threats continue to ramp up. The pandemic also saw retailers become more reliant on online storefronts when in-store shopping was curtailed or temporarily restricted.

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“Over the last few years, we’ve heard more and more from retail organizations about cyber,” said Rodrigues. “You can’t escape it.”

The CyberSecure initiative is “really focused on ways we could educate, provide awareness and share best practices,” added Rodrigues, “and doing it through various mediums.”

Two of the six planned webinars are currently available on the RCC Retail CyberSecure resource website, focused on awareness training and current cyberthreats. Webinars on threat action plans, defensive procedures, ransomware training and brute force attacks will follow in the coming months.

Battle on two fronts

In some ways, loss prevention specialists are waging a battle on two fronts: the threat of shoplifting in brick-and-mortar retail locations and the ever-present spectre of cybercrime in the digital realm.

In both cases, education and awareness are key, said Rodrigues, along with collaboration with government and likeminded organizations to get the word out.

Rodrigues and the RCC recently provided their support to a Toronto Crime Stoppers campaign which raises awareness of the growing impact of organized retail crime. The campaign aims to dispel the idea that shoplifting is a victimless crime, since it may include elements of intimidation or violence or be used to support other criminal endeavours like drug trafficking or human trafficking.


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