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National Restaurant Association - Webinar: Cybersecurity strategy for restaurants

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Webinar: Cybersecurity strategy for restaurants

While data breaches at major retailers like Target and Home Depot tend to grab headlines, small businesses are far more often the target of cyberattacks. 

“The reality is that small businesses are more often targeted by hackers than the larger businesses,” Larry Godfrey, senior director of sales engineering for Heartland Payment Systems, said during a recent NRA webinar to kick off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. “Quite frankly, a card breach can be really catastrophic for your business. I’d almost equate it to the same sort of impact a fire would have. We see a larger percentage of smaller businesses that suffer a breach and don’t recover from that breach.”

In 2014, Godfrey said, hackers stole 500 million financial records worldwide, and more than 70 percent were lost as a result of cyberattacks on small businesses.

A lot of attention has been given to the Oct. 1 liability shift that made merchants, not card companies, liable for fraudulent card usage if they aren’t using EMV technology. However, security experts said, EMV is only one piece of the puzzle.

““EMV is not a security technology per se,” Godfrey said. “It’s more of an anti-fraud technology. When that EMV card is dipped or tapped, the card data coming off that card is still clear-text data, it’s not encrypted. A hacker could potentially steal that and use it for a fraudulent transaction.”

The key is to implement a layered security strategy that ultimately makes sensitive information useless to hackers, Josh Knopp, vice president and senior business leader for MasterCard said during the webinar. A combination of point-to-point encryption, tokenization, and EMV will give merchants a strong defense against attacks, he said.

“We do want people to be aware that they need to be considering point-to-point encryption and tokenization technologies as a quick follow-on after their EMV rollout,” Knopp said.

Here’s what else the experts covered in the webinar:

  • Proactive steps you can take to protect your restaurant
  • The five essential elements of a cybersecurity program.
  • How incorporating encryption into your operation can boost your securit
  • Myths about the EMV-liability shift

“Today’s hacker is not just that teenager killing time in his parents’ basement,” Godfrey said. “It’s really organized crime, mostly working overseas, and unfortunately with almost complete freedom from prosecution in a lot of countries. They’re run as small businesses, they’ve got a budget, they’ve got an expected return. Our best defense against them is to eliminate that return.”

Listen to the NRA’s webinar for expert tips on cybersecurity strategy for restaurants.

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