Hackers Hit the Drive-Thru & Leave with Credit Card Numbers

Have you ever had an especially tough day at work, the kind that seems to drain your patience and your energy? You can't even imagine trying to cook dinner, so you decide to swing by your favorite burger joint on your way home. You snack on some salty fries and gulp down your soda, satisfied and happy. Meanwhile, you were just victimized by a compromised point-of-sale (POS) terminal. If you paid for the aforementioned dinner with a company credit card, you have now opened your small business up to financial fraud.

In situations like this, cyber theft insurance is an important safeguard for businesses; especially since data breaches and cyberattacks are sometimes discovered well after they occur.

Here are a few examples...

Take Out for Cyber Crooks
In September, it was revealed five million credit and debit card numbers were put up for sale on the "shadowy underground" corner of the dark web. The origin of these compromised cards was traced back to a compromised payment system at Sonic, an American drive-in fast food eatery.

Even more troubling, the company had recently adopted a single POS system for the majority of its roughly 3,600 locations in an attempt to better compete with rival restaurant chains and Amazon. While this seemed like a good idea at first, this reflected badly on Sonic's public reputation. In fact, the chain suffered its worst stock decline in almost two months after disclosing the breach.

Remarkably, Sonic has lots of company when it comes to facing down the consequences of data breach. Earlier this year, Pizza Hut leaked the names, billing zip codes, delivery addresses, email addresses and payment card information of approximately 60,000 customers. Chipotle also suffered a POS breach in 2017.

Point of sale systems are enticing targets for hackers because they can be corrupted relatively easily, thanks to malware kits available on the dark web. And, while Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and EMV chips have improved consumer security, nothing is foolproof. Skilled cybercriminals can always blindside businesses and consumers.

Fortunately though, consumers can protect themselves by using EMV chip readers rather than swipeable magnetic strips. Other methods include paying with credit rather than debit cards; paying with cash and changing passwords and/or card number after a breach is discovered.

To protect consumers, businesses should follow PCI standards and monitor POS systems for the existence of malware or abnormal behavior. To provide an added layer of protection, the best strategy is to adopt a cyber theft insurance policy to protect your business from financial harm and assist with credit monitoring.

For more information about cyber theft insurance, visit CyberPolicy. We can connect you with a leading provider, fit to your needs.

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