Ransomware Attack Hits Payments Giant NCR's Datacenter

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US payments giant NCR has been hit by a ransomware attack that targeted one of its data centers in Aloha, Hawaii.

The company unveiled the breach on Saturday, a few days after starting to investigate an “issue” related to its Aloha restaurant point-of-sale (PoS) product.

“On April 13, we confirmed that the outage was the result of a ransomware incident,” reads the notice. “Immediately upon discovering this development, we began contacting customers, engaged third-party cybersecurity experts and launched an investigation. Law enforcement has also been notified.”

The company also claimed that restaurants impacted by the breach can still serve their customers, with only “specific functionality” being impaired and “no impact to payment applications or on-premises systems.”

Still, according to Claroty CRO, Simon Chassar, the security company’s research has shown that ransomware on PoS platforms can substantially harm firms in the hospitality industry.

“Our research shows that 51% of the food and beverage sector reported substantial disruption when hit by a ransomware attack in 2021,” the executive said, commenting on the news. “Moreover, these attacks can cause significant financial losses for organizations, with more than a third stating that the revenue impact of operational disruption would be at least one million dollars per hour.”

More generally, Chassar said that as the hospitality industry employs more cyber-physical systems, this increasingly exposes organizations to new cyber threats and vulnerabilities, potentially leading to costly operational downtime.

“Businesses must have visibility across their entire network for all assets connected to understand their risk posture and provide patches to critical assets such as operational technology (OT) and IoT devices,” Chassar added. “It is also essential to segment their networks to restrict unnecessary connectivity and the movement of malware to mitigate the impact of cyberattacks.”

More information about how to keep up with surging threats and reduce cyber risks is available in this analysis by Skybox Security senior technical director, Terry Olaes.

Read more on hospitality attacks: Travel and Hospitality Fraud is Growing: Here’s How it Works

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