Why a Real Cybersecurity Strategy Is Needed in Grocery Now

The broad grocery industry cybercrime risks should warn the rest of us. Find out how cybercrime are evolving and why you need a real cybersecurity strategy.

Remember when the biggest thing we had to worry about was a virus redirecting our browser to an unwanted site? Things have changed. Cybercrime is getting more sophisticated, organized and lucrative. Criminals have discovered new ways to monetize and disrupt business.

Take grocery industry cybercrime, for instance. Sure, you have to worry about keeping customer data safe. And for many businesses, even large ones, cybersecurity solutions don’t extend much beyond that.

But while customer identity theft is huge, the grocery industry, in particular, faces a much bigger threat.

What’s At Stake with Grocery Industry Cybercrime?

Few businesses have as much at stake as the grocery industry from the big chains to the little mom-and-pop to the manufacturers.

Business depends on customers trusting that grocers adhere to strict food safety guidelines. If people start getting sick, these businesses not only face a PR nightmare that reduces sales. On top of it, people may die. You have the lawsuits coming in and lost lives on your conscience.

When food storage mishaps allow listeria, salmonella and e.Coli to infiltrate the supply chain, you might face the prospect of tossing food when margins are already razor-thin or taking a chance you can’t afford to take.

But wait! Food safety technology is advanced. You have systems in place to monitor the temperature of food throughout its journey and once it arrives at the warehouse. You have checks and balances that allow you to quickly address issues and remove dangerous food from shelves. It’s all carefully controlled.

But when grocery industry cybercrime enters the picture, you’re no longer in control. Technology makes it easier to manage the environment of enormous amounts of food. But it’s also susceptible to tampering from hackers.

Entire warehouses can be shut down remotely.

While you’re focused on protecting customer data over here, your cybersecurity solutions may fail you over there without a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that properly evaluates the real risks.

We Need to Think Beyond Cybersecurity Solutions

Just recently, hackers exploited the fact that some grocers, restaurants, hospitals and other businesses that have industrial cooling systems maintain the factory password on their cooling systems. The hackers were able to enter the cooling controls and alter critical food safety functions like:

  • Video surveillance
  • Alarms for product reaching unsafe temperature
  • Environmental controls

Fortunately, in this case, the hackers were only “testing the system” and they informed the company. But what if this had been a shady competitor or malicious hacker seeking ransom?

Just a month earlier, a former employee was sentenced for hacking into a grocer’s system and changing the cooling settings.

Developing a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Strategy

Your Managed IT Services and cybersecurity must address the real risks you face today. That means creating a detailed risk assessment, developing a real strategy in place of one-off solutions and beginning to put systems in place for:

  • Preventing detrimental attacks
  • Quickly identifying a breach to reduce losses
  • Business continuity if someone does get through

Cybercriminals are sophisticated and ever-expanding their strategies to hurt you and make money. You can fight back with the right strategy and implementation. Schedule a no-obligation technology consultation with ePC IT Solutions.