Homeland Security has revealed a potential threat to many US retailers saying that malicious software could be lurking in their cash registers. This software would allow hackers to steal customer financial data, as in the case of the UPS breach where 51 of their stores had infected computers and may have exposed customers’ names, postal and email addresses, and payment card data.
UPS’s response to the data breach has been par for the course – give the victims credit monitoring. But are they doing anything to educate the employees that inevitably missed warning signs?
The government urged businesses of all sizes to scan their point-of-sale systems for software known as “Backoff”. The program gains access to companies’ computers by finding insufficiently protected remote access points and duping computer users to download malware. These tricks are not new, but the hackers have become increasingly more sophisticated at developing malware that’s specifically for credit cards and can evade antivirus programs.
Remote access has always been a weak spot in the corporate network and the average corporation has done little to plug the holes. In January of 2014, the FBI distributed a confidential, three-page report to retail companies telling them to prepare for more cyber attacks.
As usual after a breach, UPS is offering identity protection and credit monitoring programs for one year at no charge to customers who may have been affected. Hopefully they will take the time and make the modest investment to educate their company on WHY security is important – training that will engage (not bore) their people – thereby protecting the data that keeps UPS in business.
John Sileo is an an award-winning author and keynote speaker on identity theft, internet privacy, fraud training & technology defense. John specializes in making security entertaining, so that it works. John is CEO of The Sileo Group, whose clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Homeland Security & Pfizer. John’s body of work includes appearances on 60 Minutes, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper & Fox Business. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.