What Is A Data Breach?
A data breach happens when an unauthorized individual gains access to electronic information. Usually cyber criminals are after a specific type of data called "personally identifiable information," or PII, which then can sell or use to steal identities.
Unfortunately, restaurants handle a significant amount of PII every day, which includes customers'…
- Bank account numbers.
- Credit or debit card numbers.
- Driver's license or state ID number.
But how do cyber thieves get this information? It's easier than you think.
It might start with a single hacker who figures out how to remotely access your point-of-sale system. The hacker scans the Internet for IP addresses that appear to be restaurant servers using special software.
When the hacker finds these servers, they might run a program that tries common passwords in an attempt to access your system. And herein lies the problem. Many small businesses do not set up unique passwords for their POS systems. It's easy for a hacker to find a combination that works – and then the hacker has complete access to your system.
Once the hacker has access, they can use other programs to copy the credit and debit card numbers of your customers and sell them for profit on the black market.
This is only one example of how a hacker can gain access to your system, but it illustrates the key point: cyber criminals can be thwarted with simple security protections: using a unique and complex password, securing your POS system with a firewall, and setting up your POS system to clear customer data after a certain amount of time.
Most cyber attacks are considered "crimes of opportunity," meaning that they happen precisely because owner of food services businesses don't take basic security measures. But sometimes even proper security measures fail. And when that happens, it's good to have a Cyber Liability Insurance plan on your side. Read on to learn how Cyber Risk coverage can protect your restaurant, bar, tavern, bakery, coffee shop, banquet hall or other food services business from the potentially devastating costs of a data breach.