CONTROLTEK Publishes Cryptocurrency Miniseries with Loss Prevention Magazine

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (Oct. 31, 2019)CONTROLTEK, an industry leader in cash logistics and retail asset protection, has published a series of articles about cryptocurrency in collaboration with Loss Prevention Magazine.

“With over 40 years of experience in asset protection, we are experts in everything about currency,” said Rod Diplock, chief executive officer at CONTROLTEK. “We focus on educating industry professionals about protecting money and changing their LP and AP with the evolution of technology.”

“With cryptocurrency’s growing popularity, it is important for retailers to learn how it works and how a completely digital currency could impact their business,” said Tom Meehan, CFI, the retail technology editor at Loss Prevention Magazine. “This series of articles explains everything from how cryptocurrency works exactly and what retailers should consider when adding cryptocurrency as a payment method in their stores.”

“We can see banks dealing with increased challenges in identity theft and fraud, all directly related to the digital evolution of banking and retail,” said Jack Trlica, managing editor at Loss Prevention Magazine. “Understanding cryptocurrency is the next step for asset protection professionals to evolve with the growing currency landscape so they can meet customers’ needs and protect themselves from fraud and malicious actors.”

The articles, written by Nathalie Schrans, content strategist and social media manager at CONTROLTEK, have been published on Loss Prevention Magazine’s website.

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About CONTROLTEK
Since 1976 CONTROLTEK has been a global leader in tamper-evident security packaging, helping banks, armored couriers and retailers transport cash safely and securely. The company’s expanding line of inventory protection and visibility solutions also helps retailers protect their merchandise better and run their operations more efficiently. As a second-generation family owned business, with a history of stable growth and a reputation for strong customer focus, CONTROLTEK continues to deliver on its mission every single day: to provide solutions that protect and to always deliver on our promises.

Media Contact
Nathalie Schrans
Content and Social Media Manager
(908) 603-2704
Nathalie.Schrans@controltekusa.com

Best Bank Teller Supplies

Every bank needs several essential items to secure their cash and provide their customers with excellent service. Here is a list of the most important bank supplies you need to keep your cash operations efficient and organized.

Cash Bags

While reusable cash bags made of nylon, vinyl or canvas are the most traditional way to package and transport cash, many organizations who handle cash have started using plastic cash bags. Because they are made of plastic, single-use cash bags are much lighter and can help reduce your transportation costs. Plastic cash bags also have many tamper-evident security features to indicate if someone has attempted to open the bag.

Coin Wrappers and Currency Straps

Money packaging is an easy and cost-effective way to organize cash and coins. Depending on the size of your operations, these supplies could range from simple cardboard coin wrappers to supplies for high-speed money counting machines.

Security Tapes and Seals

One of the most important security measures in cash logistics is deterring theft wherever possible. Tamper-evident security tapes and seals offer versatile protection for anything from boxes to ATM machines that clearly warn potential thieves against tampering.

POS and ATM Supplies

An often-overlooked part of your cash operations are the supplies you need for your cash registers or ATM machines. From ribbon cartridges and point-of-sale thermal receipt papers for your teller or POS system to card reader cleaning cards and ATM-encoded cleaning cards, don’t forget to keep these supplies on hand so you don’t run out.

How to Prepare Your Retail Store for Black Friday

Black Friday is just around the corner, which means it’s time for retailers to prepare their stores for a higher volume of customers — and a greater risk of theft. Customer shoplifting is the number one source of shrink for retailers, but there are many ways you can fight shrink during the holiday season.

Train Your Employees

Store employees who provide excellent customer service is one of the simplest ways to deter theft, and it already aligns with your goals as a retailer. Here are more ways your employees can help you reduce shrink:

Spot counterfeit money. When employees learn how to spot fake money, they can help reduce the chances of a business suffering a loss of thousands of dollars. Counterfeit money pens and detectors are an easy way to help store associates spot counterfeit money. There are also a few ways to visually detect counterfeit money, such as checking a bill for color-shifting ink or an authentic watermark, which an employee can quickly and easily perform at checkout.

Actively manage store inventory. If there’s ever a time that a certain item in your store is going to sell out quickly, it’s during Black Friday. With a higher volume of customers and sales, it can be easy for employees to become overwhelmed and fall behind on inventory management. Implementing an inventory management system can help by making it easy for your employees to scan and view inventory anywhere in store, even from your point-of-sale system.

Protect Your Merchandise

Another line of defense against shoplifting is protecting your products from theft. EAS tags and labels come in a variety of form factors and technologies so you can apply them to nearly any kind of product. They can even be integrated with your inventory management system if you use RFID technology.

With so many customers entering your store, your first step should be to deter theft wherever possible. An ink tag, such as the InkGuard, provides both visual deterrence and benefit denial without requiring you to install an EAS system in your store, making it the perfect tag for small businesses. The tag can only be safely removed using a powerful magnetic detacher at checkout. Otherwise, when the tag is improperly removed, the ink will explode and damage the item, which discourages shoplifters from stealing. This type of tag is ideal for protecting denim, apparel and designer wear.

Boxed gift sets and electronics are incredibly popular during the holiday season, but they often cannot be protected with the typical EAS pin tag. A tag specifically designed for boxed merchandise, such as our SurfaceTag, can protect your products without interfering with the customer experience. The SurfaceTag is an excellent alternative to other cable-based tags designed for boxed merchandise, which can often be time consuming to remove and annoying to the customer.

How CONTROLTEK Can Help You Prepare

Supplying state-of-the-art EAS and RFID tags. CONTROLTEK’s wide range of EAS and RFID tags and labels offer many options to protect almost any product you can think of. Our tags are compatible with both RF and AM systems, and many can be converted to RFID technology as well.

Installing EAS and RFID systems on time and correctly the very first time. Our First Time Right™ promise has resulted in over 97 percent of EAS and RFID system installations being fully completed on the first visit, one of the highest rates in the loss prevention industry. We document every single installation, and to be rated as First Time Right™ each one must be signed off by our customer.

Providing tamper-evident retail deposit bags. More customers during the holidays means an increase in cash flow. CONTROLTEK’s industry-leading cash deposit bags for retailers have tamper-evident security features and easy-to-use seals to speed up the cash deposit process for your employees.

CONTROLTEK has solutions for every retailer who wants to boost their store’s security in time for the holiday season. Contact us to start fighting shrink today!

Rubin Press Joins CONTROLTEK as Vice President of Global Sales

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (October 24, 2019)CONTROLTEK, a leader in retail product protection, is pleased to announce the appointment of Rubin Press as Vice President of Global Sales. In this role, Press will be responsible for CONTROLTEK’s sales organization focused on growing strategic customer accounts and partner relationships.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rubin back to the CONTROLTEK team,” said Rod Diplock, chief executive officer at CONTROLTEK. “His highly collaborative sales approach, proven history of delivering results and expertise in RFID technology is invaluable to our mission to provide the latest asset protection solutions to our customers.”

“I approach client solutions from both a technical and business perspective, leveraging my experience to keep clients on the cutting edge,” said Press. “I am looking forward to returning, and I am ready to hit the ground running leading the sales team and taking CONTROLTEK to the next level.”

Press brings over two decades of experience in sales in the technology and loss prevention industries to his new position at CONTROLTEK. Previously, Press served as Vice President of Sales at Velaspan, a professional services organization that specializes in wireless network design and consulting services.

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About CONTROLTEK
Since 1976 CONTROLTEK has been a global leader in tamper-evident security packaging, helping banks, armored couriers and retailers transport cash safely and securely. The company’s expanding line of inventory protection and visibility solutions also helps retailers protect their merchandise better and run their operations more efficiently. As a second-generation family owned business, with a history of stable growth and a reputation for strong customer focus, CONTROLTEK continues to deliver on its mission every single day: to provide solutions that protect and to always deliver on our promises.

Media Contact
Nathalie Schrans
Content and Social Media Manager
(908) 603-2704
Nathalie.Schrans@controltekusa.com

How Security Bar Codes Work

Thanks to bar code technology, we can track cash packages and log data faster than ever before. But how exactly do security bar codes work?

A security bar code is made up of two parts:

  1. The machine-readable bar code
  2. The human-readable number

The first bar code was designed in the 1970s as part of the Universal Product Code (UPC), which is what retailers use to scan items at checkout. Today, security bar code technology is used in many industries, such as science, the military and health care.

A bar code scanner reads the black-and-white design of a security bar code and feeds that information to a computer that can identify the bar code using a database. A security bar code scanner works quite simply:

  1. The scanner emits an LED or laser light onto the security bar code.
  2. Light reflects off the bar code into a light-detecting component called a photoelectric cell. The white areas of the bar code reflect the most light while the black areas reflect the least light.
  3. As the scanner reads the security bar code, the photoelectric cell generates a pattern of on-off pulses corresponding to the black and white stripes in the bar code.
  4. An electronic circuit connected to the scanner converts these on-off pulses into the digits of the bar code.
  5. These digits are then sent to a computer connected to the scanner to be checked against a database.

Bar code technology is what allows financial institutions and cash-in-transit companies to quickly log, organize and transport security bags. Today, bar codes are printed directly on security packaging to make this process go as quickly as possible.

The Potential Challenges of Cryptocurrency in Retail

In our previous article, “What is Cryptocurrency and How Does It Work?”, we reviewed the basics of cryptocurrency and its history. Here we will discuss the potential challenges of cryptocurrency and the steps retailers can take to reduce the risks for themselves and their customers.

What Are the Potential Challenges?

As of 2019, the total dollar-denominated value of Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency in circulation, is $64.3 billion, with the total market value of all traded cryptocurrencies reaching nearly $134 billion.

Approximately $1.1 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen in the first half of 2018, about a year after Bitcoin’s value started to peak. Last year, a group of hackers stole $530 million from Coincheck, a centralized cryptocurrency exchange in Tokyo, which shows what threats cryptocurrency faces and just how custody solutions need to evolve.

Because it is a peer-to-peer, decentralized alternative currency, cryptocurrency does not have systemic safeguards like those built into traditional, or fiat, currency financial systems. There are no guarantees of security or government regulations to protect the financial system from fraud or theft. So if coin is lost or stolen then it may not be recoverable.

The fundamental risk in cryptocurrency is that a huge amount of digital money can be stored in virtual reality (online) or on devices (offline), which means that anyone who has access to the storage can easily move any amount of money.

Online storage is referred to a hot wallet or hot storage while a cold wallet or cold storage is not connected to the internet. Access to a hot wallet is controlled with an encrypted private key, which means that the inherent risk of hot storage is that if the private key is stolen, then someone else can access the money. Online threats include hacking, phishing attacks, social engineering, and insider fraud. The Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange mentioned earlier had stored coin in a hot wallet, which was one of the vulnerabilities that allowed the hackers to access the currency.

Cold storage means that both the currency stored offline and the private key are vulnerable, although someone still could not access the coin without also having the private key. The threats against cold storage are more familiar to those in the cash security industry: forcible robbery, break and enter, loss of physical possession, and adequate controls.

Another less direct risk is cryptojacking, where hackers use another person’s computer (without their knowledge) to mine cryptocurrency coins, which often requires a lot of electricity. The coins are then delivered to the hackers’ accounts with no cost to them. Hackers will target any devices, from personal computers to large data centers and cloud services providers, even internet-enabled devices such as cameras and household appliances.

How Retailers Can Address Potential Challenges

Cryptocurrency exchanges, such as the one mentioned earlier, can reduce these challenges by requiring multiple signatures for the movement of currency, which makes it harder for thieves to steal cryptocurrency with just the private key. However, the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency as an alternative form of currency rests on whether mainstream retailers accept cryptocurrency. Today, only a few major retailers, such as Microsoft, Overstock.com, Reeds Jewelers, and Dish, accept bitcoin as payment. This makes it difficult for the general public to use bitcoin to buy everyday goods and services.

Two of the biggest risks of cryptocurrency are its volatility and liquidity issues. The value of cryptocurrency has dropped as much as 15 percent and gone up as much as over 20 percent, all in two years. In comparison, the S&P 500 and the price of gold has stayed within much smaller margin of change. Because cryptocurrencies are still very new, it will take time for the markets to stabilize and reduce this level of volatility.

Cryptocurrency is also difficult to liquidate, since there are only a few cryptocurrency exchanges and none with a commercial branch that can handle the high volume of transactions from a traditional retailer. Cryptocurrency exchanges often have slow processing times and changing transaction fees, which makes it even less desirable to retailers.

One possible solution is for traditional banks who have commercial branches to establish cryptocurrency exchanges, so retailers have a trustworthy way of managing their cryptocurrency transactions. However, this depends on if yet another industry can change to help cryptocurrency become a mainstream payment method.

A more direct solution would be for retailers to take the matters into their own hands. Individual retailers can get a cryptocurrency receiving address, either by becoming a member of a digital wallet service or by managing their own wallet. The difference is that when you manage your own wallet, you have control of your private keys, which can be more secure. Retailers can then share their QR code, either online or in stores, to inform customers that they accept cryptocurrency.

Although this is not a systemic way of addressing the obstacles for retailers to adopt cryptocurrency, if enough retailers accept and promote cryptocurrency as a viable payment method, eventually financial institutions, such as banks with commercial branches, will see the value in working with cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency is a fast-moving market and it seems like change needs to happen quickly for it to matter at all, but it is important to remember that most cryptocurrencies are only a couple of years old, so it will take time for traditional industries like retail to weigh the benefits and challenges of cryptocurrency. In the end, if retailers want to win over the 7.1 million active Bitcoin users, they will have to take steps on their own to accommodate these consumers.

Mitigating the Risks of Cryptocurrency

What Are the Risks?

As of 2019, the total dollar-denominated value of Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, in circulation is $64.3 billion, with the total market value of all traded cryptocurrencies reaching nearly $134 billion.

Approximately $1.1 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen in the first half of 2018, about a year after Bitcoin’s value started to peak. Last year, a group of hackers stole $530 million from Coincheck, a centralized cryptocurrency exchange in Tokyo, which shows what threats cryptocurrency faces and just how custody solutions need to evolve.

Because it is a peer-to-peer, decentralized alternative currency, cryptocurrency does not have systemic safeguards like those built into traditional, or fiat, currency financial systems. There are no guarantees of security or government regulations to protect the financial system from fraud or theft. So if coin is lost or stolen then it may not be recoverable.

The fundamental risk in cryptocurrency is that a huge amount of digital money can be stored in virtual reality (online) or on devices (offline), which means that anyone who has access to the storage can easily move any amount of money.

Online storage is referred to a hot wallet or hot storage while a cold wallet or cold storage is not connected to the internet. Access to a hot wallet is controlled with an encrypted private key, which means that the inherent risk of hot storage is that if the private key is stolen, then someone else can access the money. Online threats include hacking, phishing attacks, social engineering and insider fraud. The Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange mentioned earlier had stored coin in a hot wallet, which was one of the vulnerabilities that allowed the hackers to access the currency.

Cold storage means that both the currency stored offline and the private key are vulnerable, although someone still could not access the coin without also having the private key. The threats against cold storage are more familiar to those in the cash security industry: forcible robbery, break and enter, loss of physical possession and adequate controls.

Another less direct risk is cryptojacking, where hackers use another person’s computer (without their knowledge) to mine cryptocurrency coins, which often requires a lot of electricity; the coins are then delivered to the hackers’ accounts with no cost to them. Hackers will target any devices, from personal computers to large data centers and cloud services providers, even internet-enabled devices such as cameras and household appliances.

How to Address Risks

The currency value of cryptocurrency makes the design of custodial solutions imperative. According to Lowers & Associates, the sheer value of the cryptocurrency industry is beginning to draw traditional financial actors, such as banks, into the cryptocurrency world. For example, Fidelity recently announced the creation of a new digital asset service that would facilitate buying and selling cryptocurrency and provide a custody solution as well.

Because of their significant technological resources, banks and other financial institutions are among the greatest targets for cryptojacking. However, the process of cryptojacking is structurally similar to traditional malware attacks, so banks may have strategies for guarding against these threats already in place.

Of course, regulatory bodies will play a fundamental role in decreasing the risks of cryptocurrency. A simple first step would be for regulators to update existing financial rules to cover cryptocurrency, which would include regulations designed to prevent money launder, tax evasion and fraud.

Cryptocurrency exchanges, such as the one mentioned earlier, can reduce risks by requiring multiple signatures for the movement of currency, which makes it harder for thieves to steal cryptocurrency with just the private key. Banks can offer a cryptocurrency exchange service and require multiple signatures as well; this could encourage potential customers to trust financial institutions with their cryptocurrency exchanges and protect them from fraud or theft.

How Tamper Evident Security Labels Work

Tamper-evident technology has existed since ancient times, beginning with wax, clay or metal seals used to show if a letter had been opened since it was written. Today, tamper-evident security labels are a cost-effective way to deter theft and show unmistakable visual signs of tampering.

The most common and widely applicable label is tamper seal tape, which leaves printed text on the item when removed. Tamper-evident security labels are suited for use on most surfaces, including metal, glass, wood, plastic and paper. This makes them an ideal security solution for ATM cassettes, drawers, file cabinets and electronic equipment.

Common tamper-evident features include:

  • Hidden print layers to indicate opening, often by leaving behind printed text that reads “VOID” or “TAMPER EVIDENT”
  • Intentionally weak components
  • Printing that cannot be realigned after the tape or label has been cut or torn
  • Perforations that make removing the tape or label in one piece more difficult

CONTROLTEK’s line of tamper-evident security tapes and seals are not average security labels that can be defeated by a skilled thief. Our labels’ design and high-quality materials make them impossible to remove intact and without leaving behind tamper-evident residue. They can protect your assets in any environment, regardless of temperate, humidity and pressure.

Press the Call Button on Your Smartphone to Redial Last Call

Here’s a tip that a lot of folks forget about now that we use smartphones more than landlines. Your phone keeps the last number dialed available so you can easily call them back. In both iOS and Android, you can press the call button in the phone app for a quick call-back feature. This is great in dead spots when calls drop, when you get a busy signal or when you are on a conference call.

Keep Your Messages Secure

Instead of using your smartphone to send a text message (SMS), use an app like WhatsApp or Signal. Both apps are free and offer encryption for text messages along with voice and video calls, pictures and documents. Text messages may not protect your information and your privacy could be at risk. Both apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows and Mac.