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Cybersecurity for food franchisees is no less important now

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2020 | Blog |

Every business has cybersecurity threats. Thinking through how to prevent data theft and other security compromises is just part of being an owner or manager anywhere.

But franchise restaurants are a special case, as a recent article in Modern Restaurant Management argues. Their business model places special burdens of responsibility on management’s shoulders.

Stepping up to today’s cybersecurity challenges

At the moment, cash is not exactly king. More rapidly than ever before more people are turning to credit cards and other online transactions for food delivery and curbside pickup. This is an environment where trustworthiness and competence are top priorities for customers and corporate franchisors alike.

The recent publication urges franchisees to get comprehensive cybersecurity insurance and take precautions to tighten cybersecurity in their operations.

Acting decisively when you have limited control

News stories in recent years tell us of a variety of cases in which franchisors have left franchisees picking up the pieces for mistakes made higher up the ladder. Franchisees are at the mercy, to some extent, of decisions made by the “home office.”

But challenges such as damaging scandals brand are not always quite as personal as having to deal with stolen credit card numbers, street and email addresses, etc. For some consumers, those breaches are hard to get over.

For franchisees stuck with the costs of forensic audits, breach notification, lawsuits, and more, a breach can have even longer-term consequences.

Keeping the team up to the task

Estimates suggest 95% of online data and other cybersecurity breaches are the result of human error.

Whether an employee clicks on a link or attachment sent by a hacker, or the computer contractor who set up the system failed to make the right configuration settings or something else, cybersecurity is a people problem, the article claims.

With an annual worker turnover rate of 75% (reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) franchisees have a tough time getting any cybersecurity training to “stick” in the workforce. The job must be a day-in, day-out ongoing commitment.