The recent breach of the Capitol and its aftermath have highlighted just how much power major technology companies like Twitter and Facebook have on real-world events. On Jan. 8, 2021, Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump from its platform, and many other tech companies including Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube, followed with indefinite suspensions.

To justify deplatforming Trump, many of these companies have cited the risk of social media causing violence in real life. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey specifically mentioned the risk of “offline harm as a result of online speech” in his statement about banning Trump’s Twitter account. …


With the presidential election looming over our heads in recent months, it’s not too surprising to see that the news cycle has become hyper focused on anything to do with the election. And it’s not just the basics of a political election in the United States: the media has become dominated by topics like right-wing politics, antifa, protests, and the many political buzzwords that have suddenly become part of our everyday vocabulary.

A global pandemic during an election year is almost a perfect storm. With so many of us staying at home and unable to distract ourselves from the news…


How Elections and Retailers Can Be Impacted When Civil Unrest Turns Violent

By Tom Meehan, CFI -October 5, 2020

It’s not news that 2020 has been a chaotic year. From the global COVID-19 pandemic beginning in March to the protests across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis at the end of May, it seems impossible to predict what might happen next. But as we’ve seen so many times in the past, history often repeats itself. …


Unraveling the Mystery of the Dark Web

Investigators Can Use the Dark Web as a Tool to Discover Potential Threats to Retail Brands

By Tom Meehan, CFI

Shh

The dark web burst into public awareness in 2013 when the FBI shut down Silk Road, an online black market, and arrested its founder, Ross Ulbricht. The FBI found him through an elaborate sting operation involving an undercover law enforcement agent posing as a drug dealer on the dark web. …


Cyber crime has always been an issue, and the era of COVID-19 is no exception. In recent months, bad actors have been taking advantage of both individuals and businesses during this vulnerable time through phishing scams with COVID-specific themes, anything from fake websites to access your coronavirus stimulus check or impersonating regional health authorities to share fake news.

The pandemic has also seen a wave of bad actors attempt to infiltrate major corporations, with the hope that they have been overwhelmed by pandemic-related issues and have weaker cyber-security protocols. In June, Amazon Web Services reported that they had to defend…


When you think of cyber security, what comes to mind? For most it’s software, hackers, and computers in general. According to the FBI, “A cyber incident is a past, ongoing, or threatened intrusion, disruption, or other event that impairs or is likely to impair the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of electronic information, information systems, services, or networks.”

However, a largely neglected part of cyber security is the human component. A significant majority of cyber incidents originate from within the companies themselves, with 80 percent of cyber incidents coming from human interaction. Forty percent of threats, whether they were inadvertent or…


Social media has revolutionized connectivity because it is so easily accessible: by definition, social media exists on an open public platform. This means that social media can also be used as a tool for open-source intelligence, more commonly referred to as OSINT. OSINT is intelligence collected from publicly available sources and is an effective method of data collection for retailers of any size. OSINT can open a new world of data for retailers, who can then gather data from every public source available and use OSINT tools to narrow the scope of their search.

In recent years, OSINT has become…


Today, social media is just about everywhere. Facebook alone has almost 2.5 billion monthly active users. By now, most of us use some sort of social media to keep up with friends and family and to network professionally. With social media, the reach and frequency are unlimited. Its ease and usability allow anyone, from any age group, to report news or information regardless of its accuracy or merit. Just imagine: a large portion of the population walks around with high-definition cameras in their pockets and the ability to broadcast live video in real time to an audience of billions. …


A New York law eliminating cash bail and pretrial detention for most nonviolent crimes went into place at the beginning of the new year. The Bail Elimination Act was passed by the state legislature in April 2019 and signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The legislation was primarily designed to address the disproportionate effect on people who cannot afford to pay bail and must remain in jail until their trial date. …


In trying to deter thieves, it helps to put yourself in their shoes and see the store environment as they do. Are burned-out lights in the parking lot? Are the cameras hanging by a wire or facing the ground? If so, it’s like hanging up a welcome sign for thieves.

By contrast, imagine walking into an environment that’s clean and well lit, with signs that illuminate as you approach and cameras that pan, tilt, and zoom in on your face. Would you feel inclined to attempt a theft in those conditions? Few people would. …

Tom Meehan

CSO & CISO | Retail strategist | Author | Thought Leader #innovation #security #IoT #fintech #SocialMedia #retail #RFID #EAS #cybersecurity #bigdata #AI #RF

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