There was a major breach at Tim Hortons location that affected almost 1000 stores as the virus damaged the cash registers. The POS system (POS) of over 160 Applebee’s restaurants were infected with malware to gain access to the customers’ names, bank card details, verification codes and what not.
Few of the latest data breaches highlights some truths, the restaurant database is a rich source of personal and financial information about customers. Malware authors are trying their best to gain access to the customers’ confidential information. The third party vendors who do not comply with security norms can give way to hackers to impose a data breach and hence data loss.
When security controls are not in place and when the vendors connected to the insecure network, hackers find a way to access the network and encrypt the system. By this way, the hackers deny you from accessing the system and serving the customers. The hackers demand a huge ransom to unlock the system while also gain access to the customers personal and financial information.
However, if you maintain a secure network and ensure to check for the authenticity of third-party vendors, you can stay protected from data breaches.
Verifying your vendors
Any third-party vendor you work with should be checked for their security practices as well. Hackers find ways to penetrate into the network directly or by identifying and exploiting vulnerable vendors. Ensure to perform a vetting process to check if the third-party you hire is not vulnerable and ensure that you have a check on the following during the vetting process:
Check if the vendor has deployed a security program
Check if the vendor deploys the use of firewall and security measures protect the enterprise
Check how would the restaurant be affected if the vendor is hacked?
Vendor security has to be one high priority
Reviewing and Strengthening your network
It is vital to review and practice precaution to keep the systems connected to the network so malware cannot enter the network even when the third party vendor is compromised. Following are the three steps to implement:
Review the system security of your organization
Check if all the devices are equipped with the right antivirus protection and ensure if they are updated with the latest patches. Frame rules and regulations to set standards for approved files and programs and restrict malicious sites.
Protect your Wi-Fi
Weak and Public Wi-Fi networks are a signal for hackers, as they can instantly access to the information that goes to and from the network. Encrypt the network with a complex password and restrict access to specific users. Instill a separate guest portal for employees and customers so they do not interfere with the POS system’s network.
Segment your Network
Block the areas of the network that you find sensitive, this would help you provide restricted access to specific users as per their need while it also complex for the malware to enter the network. Segmenting If you segment your network correctly, you can keep business information (like POS transactions) inaccessible to third-party vendors.
Don’t become the next Victim
It has now become common for cyber-criminals to target restaurants. However, you can implement strict security system to protect your network to avoid being a victim . Set policies to limit access levels to employees, customers and third part vendors.
Protection of data goes vital as the customers share their sensitive information and they expect you to maintain privacy. Protecting customers would entitle you to protect your restaurant business and helps you sustain in the market with good customer-business relationship. Enable a prompt POS security system to protect the POS machines.