Retail store security teams are undergoing a significant transformation in their roles and responsibilities.
As the retail industry embraces the innovative world of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the security teams tasked with safeguarding these businesses are undergoing a significant transformation in their roles and responsibilities.
Conventional security methods are giving way to more technologically advanced, data-driven techniques that proactively detect and mitigate threats. In a recent interview with asmag.com, Amol Kulkarni, Co-founder and VP of Dragonfruit AI, highlighted how this development is moving security from a "reactive to proactive" approach. This shift underlines the increasing demand for new skills within retail security teams.
The transition from reactive to proactive security
Traditionally, retail security was largely reactive, primarily focused on responding to incidents after their occurrence. This approach necessitated skills specifically geared toward incident management, reporting, and asset recovery.
However, the advent of AI and machine learning technologies enable security teams to anticipate and prevent incidents before they occur. This significant change carries substantial implications for workforce training and skill development within retail security teams.
"The transition from a more reactive approach to a proactive one is profound, with substantial implications for workforce training and necessary skill sets within retail security teams," Kulkarni explained. "In the past, retail security primarily responded to incidents post-occurrence, necessitating skills focused on incident management, reporting, and asset recovery.”
Technical acumen and understanding of AI
In this AI-dominated era, it is crucial for retail security teams to be technologically adept. Kulkarni points out that "future security teams will need to understand and apply advanced technologies like AI and ML tools."
Comprehending these technologies and implementing them into security protocols and threat detection is vital for today's retail security professionals. According to Kulkarni, such an increased involvement of technology will even have a positive impact on finding new talent.
“I see it as a great opportunity for innovation within this industry,” Kulkarni said. “For example, using advanced technology to directly impact an organization's bottom line and provide a better customer experience has a certain charm to it. This will likely attract people who have traditionally not been drawn to this field. Retail security typically has a cliched and stereotypical image in the minds of the public, but that's bound to change with the adoption of these critical technologies.”
Analytical and critical thinking skills
While AI and machine learning can highlight potential risks, human intervention is necessary to comprehend and analyze these threats within context. Kulkarni emphasized this point, suggesting that security personnel must develop "advanced critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as situational awareness."
Staff should be adept at interpreting behavioral patterns, recognizing potential threats, and determining appropriate action based on data provided by AI systems.
“Security personnel will require enhanced critical thinking, analytical skills, and situational awareness," Kulkarni stated. "They need to understand behavior patterns, identify potential threats, and make informed decisions to mitigate these risks.”
Interpersonal and collaboration skills
As AI becomes integral to security operations, retail security staff must work closely with IT and other departments.
"The integration of advanced technology within security operations will necessitate enhanced interaction with IT and other teams,” Kulkarni stated. “This requires a more collaborative environment, with a stronger emphasis on interpersonal skills and teamwork among security personnel.”
This means that it's vitally important not only to identify and hire the right talent with the appropriate mindset but also to design training programs that foster and enhance these technical and non-technical skills.
Continuous learning and adaptability
The rapidly changing landscape of AI necessitates continuous learning and adaptability from security personnel. They should be receptive to new strategies, technologies, and methodologies for ensuring security within the retail environment.
Kulkarni emphasized this by stating that it is "crucially important not just to identify and hire the right talent with the suitable mindset, but also to design training programs that nurture and enhance these technical and non-technical skills."
In short, the rise of AI in the retail industry isn't a threat to retail security jobs; instead, it presents an opportunity for these roles to evolve and become even more essential. Kulkarni is optimistic that this shift might draw individuals who have traditionally not considered this field.
As the industry shifts from reactive to proactive security measures, retail security staff must augment their technical capabilities, analytical prowess, and interpersonal skills. Through continuous learning and adaptability, these professionals can stay ahead, ensuring the security of the retail industry in an AI-driven era.