Ontario’s Beer Store chain suffers from a cyber attack

Ontario’s Beer Store chain suffers from a cyber attack

Business of all sizes - whether you’re a mom and pop shop, small or medium sized business, large corporations, or government owned businesses, need to be aware of and take steps to mitigate cyber attacks. In fact, on March 26th Ontario’s Beer Store became the victim of a cyber attack, and unfortunately, they are still dealing with the fallout.

The Beer Store’s is now struggling to get back to normal. For the meantime, they have opted to only accept cash, a difficult position given the concerns around the current global pandemic. As of April 13th, their online inventory system is still down, and breweries are calling stores one by one to see whether they need deliveries.

The president of Muskoka Brewery opened up about the incident stating that he didn’t expect they would still be dealing with this issue a few weeks after they had gotten the initial email detecting the virus.

As a result of the attack, the company has had to remove the hard drives from the computers at every single store to ensure that the virus doesn’t reproduce once the system is back up. They have also had buy new machines for their stores so that they could start accepting electronic payments again.

If a large, province wide organization like The Beer Store is still feeling the impact of the cyber attack three weeks later, then I can only imagine the damage it would do to a small business. Small businesses are much more vulnerable to these attacks, as they don’t always have the money or the desire to implement security tools and solutions. And in the event of a breach, they also may not have the resources to pay for expert consultants to come in and mitigate the disaster. This is just a reminder that cybercriminals are everywhere and they don’t discriminate. They’re looking for the low-hanging fruit so they can steal as much money or data as possible, with the least amount of effort.

To protect yourself, you should start with a couple of key protections. First off, you need to use business grade antivirus software, an advanced firewall, multi-factor authentication, and ensure you have robust backups that can be restored quickly in the event of a disaster. To fully protect your business, it’s important to have a layered security defense. By having multiple tools protecting your digital kingdom, you reduce you chances of downtime, and data loss while simultaneously increasing your productivity. If you don’t, you could be the next business in the headlines.

If you’re worried about protecting your company data, give us a call at 416 966-3306 and we can help determine if all your I’s are dotted and your T’s are crossed.