Data Breach Takes a Bite Out of Whole Foods

Whole Foods is a grocery chain well known for its quality foods and, more recently, for its relationship with Amazon, who acquired the brand earlier this year. But this time, Whole Foods is making headlines for a totally different reason.

According to reports, 117 venues were impacted by a payment card data breach in August. Despite the risk to consumers, the supermarket chain has kept a tight lid on the subject.

In truth, thousands of businesses fall prey to similar scams every year, which is why it's absolutely essential for private organizations to invest in cybersecurity insurance before their customers are impacted by an attack.

Below, CyberPolicy examines the incident and highlights what other businesses can learn from the unfortunate Whole Foods fiasco.

What happened?
In late September, Whole Foods publicly revealed a data breach had potentially compromised customer credit card details from more than 100 venues. Reporters at Gizmodo speculate that the company did not detect the problem itself, but rather was informed by a third party.

The point of entry for this breach appears to have been corrupted payment terminals associated with bars and table-service restaurants located inside the stores. Whole Foods was quick to clarify that the incursion had not affected Amazon customers, nor supermarket customers who had not visited in-store eateries.

What this means for consumers
Whole Foods has created a website where shoppers can check if their favorite venue was wrapped up in the breach.

However, the company has not disclosed what information was stolen, nor when the breach was first discovered" which has drawn criticisms from a number of consumer advocates and cybersecurity professionals.

To protect yourself from fraud, be sure to keep a close eye on your financial statements for any suspicious activity.

Similar incidents happen all the time
Point-of-sale scams happen more often than you might realize. Just ask Chipotle, Subway or Wendy's.

This is why EMV chips have replaced the swipeable magnetic strip. This tiny change has a big impact on consumer security as EMV cards encrypt financial information before payment is made, thereby reducing the chances of fraudulent purchases.

If your business is still using old POS systems, it's time to make an upgrade. You wouldn't want to be the next breach to be covered by national news.

What businesses can learn from this example
Data breaches are bad for business. Not only do they require companies to sink time and resources into research and recovery, they also negatively impact public perception of the brand.

Thankfully, cybersecurity insurance can help private organizations pay for damages due to data breach and cyberattacks. Better yet, there are various providers who can offer cyber liability policies fit to your company's unique needs.

For instance, first-party cyber coverage can aid organizations recovering from loss of income due to business interruption, data theft, extortion and ransom payments. Third-party cyber coverage, on the other hand, assists with consumer credit monitoring, legal fees, media liability and more.

Interested in seeing what cybersecurity insurance can do for your company? Visit CyberPolicy for your free quote today!

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