3 CyberSecurity Tips for Restaurants: Keeping Your Data Secure

by Toast Lab

Can your restaurant afford to survive a data breach on its computers or credit card machines?

Are you prepared to recover from stolen data and credit card information? 

The threat of cybersecurity is not slowing down - it's only getting started. This can have real ramifications on your restaurant. 

  • 68% of funds lost from cyber attacks were declared unrecoverable. 
  • 99% of computers are vulnerable to cyber attacks. 
  • It takes more than 5 months (170 days on average) to detect an attack after it has occured.

Your restaurant needs the best security capabilities to avoid a costly and devastating fate. That's why we've developed these quick and easy-to-implement cybersecurity tips for restaurants. Tech-savvy or not, these tips are relatively straightforward and their importance is easy to understand.

Read on for 3 cybersecurity tips for your restaurant, including Toast's new PLATE Framework for Restaurant CyberSecurity.

1. Use Modern, Secure Technology

Cyber attacks can come from online and from wireless access points, but your hardware is also susceptible. This means your restaurant technology needs to have certain features to keep your data secure. 

Your hardware and machines should be tamper-proof to stop anyone from physically accessing your system. Your point of sale (POS) system and credit card reader are of particular importance here - both of which serve as physical access points and need to be made secure as much as possible.

Your software should be up-to-date and have be equipped to fight off cyber threats to your information center. With older legacy POS systems, this is sometimes too much to expect.

Older POS systems can store information on-site in a back-room computer. This is a dated practice and can be detrimental. 

2. Adhere to PCI Compliance

For the second of our three cybersecurity tips, let's stay on the the topic of restaurant technology providers and talk a bit about PCI Compliance. 

PCI Compliance is another barrier for cyber attacks. Restaurant technology provided by companies complying with PCI standards adds an extra layer of security.

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Standards call for merchants that accept, process, store, and/or transmit credit card information do so in a secure environment. Customers should be able to feel confident when they hand over their card at your restaurant. Using PCI-complaint technology ensures all steps have been taken wherever possible to prevent these hacks. 

3. Follow the PLATE Framework

toast plate framework

The PLATE Framework was developed by Toast to help restaurant owners prepare for, deal with, and recover from cybersecurity hacks in your restaurant.

It was formed around the NIST CyberSecurity Framework from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The NIST Framework was founded in response to President Obama's call for a more protected civil liberties in the wake of constant cyber threat.

Once you understand how to incorporate the PLATE Framework in your restaurant, you'll have systems in place to do the following: 

  • Perceive the actual threats to your system and business.
  • Limit Risk of an attack.
  • Attribute the root of the problem accurately.
  • Take Action and respond to a hack/attack if it happens. 
  • Evolve from the incident and make changes. 

Implementing the PLATE Framework in your restaurant can help make you less susceptible to cyber attacks, quicker to respond to and shut down threats, and more prepared to recover from an incident.

Don't let your restaurant's doors close. Make restaurant technology your ally - not your enemy.



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