Avoiding Computer Problems In the First Place

Why Your Restaurant Needs Cyber Protection -- It's Not Just For Big Businesses Anymore

In the not-too-distant past, a restaurant's main security concerns were guarding itself from robbers and burglars and protecting its cash registers and inventory from the sticky fingers of employees. But, today, restaurants have another concern -- cyber hacking, which can cause a business as much, if not more, damage monetarily as a flesh-and-blood thief. Even worse, these types of criminals could cause irreparable damage to your restaurant's reputation if they should manage to get a hold of your customer's credit card information. To protect your business, you need to protect yourself against the following forms of cyber attacks. 

Authentication-based Attacks

Authentication-based attacks are ones where a hacker gains access to your computer system by stealing or figuring out an authorized user's or administrator's password. According to ZDNet, these types of attacks were involved in approximately four-fifths of hacking breaches in 2012. It's probably not surprising that this is such a popular method for hacking a system since it allows a cyber thief easy access to important data. In order to prevent this type of attack, your employees should never:

  • Share their passwords with others, especially temporary employees. 
  • Write their passwords down and then leave them where others can see them. 
  • Leave their computers on when they are not using them, especially overnight or on weekends
  • Use easy-to-crack passwords -- for example, 1234 or a simple name or word that an automated hacking tool could easily figure out. 

It is also important that you immediately block an employee from having access to your computer system if they quit or are fired, even if they have left on good terms.

Outside Attacks

You can protect your restaurant against outside attacks by installing intrusion detection software, which will monitor the incoming and outgoing activity on your network for signs that a hacker may be trying to access it from the outside. Without this type of software in place, you may not even realize that your restaurant is under attack and cyber criminals could gain access to your important computer files. 

It is also important to protect your system from outside attacks, such as the relatively new ransomware malware, with anti-virus programs. According to the FBI, the incidents of ransomware, which is a particularly dangerous type of malware that will hold your documents "hostage," is on the rise. Once your computer documents have been seized, the only way for you to get them back is to pay the cyber criminals responsible a ransom. Although even that is not a guarantee, as some cyber criminals have just taken the ransom money without releasing the files.  And according to Kiplinger, small business operations, such as restaurants, are prime targets for cyber criminals looking for easy victims. 

Insider Threats

In a perfect world, you could trust all of your employees. But, sadly, cyber threats do not always come from outside sources. There are several reasons why a restaurant could fall prey to an insider attack, including a disgruntled employee who might want to: 

  • Steal your proprietary information to start up their own business or to sell it to your competitors 
  • Abuse your customer payment information for their own financial gain
  • Release your personal or company emails, documents and pictures to embarrass, blackmail you or to tarnish your reputation 
  • Sabotage your computer system as a form of revenge against you or your company

In these days and times, every business -- no matter how small -- should make sure that their computer systems are protected against potential cyber attacks. Without these important safeguards in place, your business could end up losing money, customers and even your good name. Visit a site like https://www.stealthbits.com/ for more information.