RFID Technology Protects Businesses Against Theft


Preventing employee theft, especially of electronic equipment and sensitive files, is an ongoing issue for most companies. Management is increasingly choosing RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) as a solution to this perennial problem. The retail arena, as well, is incorporating this technology as a more robust solution to the traditional EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) system.

San Jose, California-based FileTrail, offering a business-based records management system, has expanded RFID technology into their SmartAlarm software and hardware. The SmartAlarm system can track any type of physical item, including employee-issued electronic equipment.

For example, in Monterey County, California, the system is used to track and secure employees’ Apple iPads. To effect this protection, RFID sensors have been attached to the Ethernet network at the building exits. When a person carrying an iPad approaches the exit, a notification is sent out and guards are able to stop the suspect at the exit to prevent removal. Not only is this a theft prevention measure, but it also allows the county to better control the movement of the assets within the building; for example, transferring the devices from one department to another, or to a more private location.

S3EDGE is another company that has developed RFID tag technology to track and trace valuable IT assets like laptops and mobile computers, external hard drives and storage media, backup tapes and money bags within an organization. Their technology, called Spotlight, is designed to identify movements of personnel and assets throughout “zones” of businesses, and record this movement with mobile device apps, providing real-time security alerts.

In the retail arena, RFID provides a more robust solution than the traditional EAS system, which can only detect shoplifting or employee theft after it has occurred. RFID technology, on the other hand, is more proactive, as it can alert store security to potential events prior to their occurrence.

As noted by Motorola, which offers an RFID solution, if an unusual amount of items were removed simultaneously from a store shelf, or high-valued items taken to an incorrect or even off-floor location, the activity could be captured by the readers, the retailer could be alerted instantly and security cameras activated to monitor the event. RFID allows management to see exactly what was removed from the store, and through what exit.

From high-end electronics to everyday products, RFID technology can track inventory, audit personnel and asset movement, and identify and often prevent consumer shoplifting. The bottom line for business is less shrinkage, more profit, a significant theft deterrent and better control of assets and staff.

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