The good news is that the Restaurant Revitalization Grant program brought much need financial aid to the nation’s foodservice community. The bad news is that with full transparency of how the funds were distributed restaurants now have a giant target on them. A world of cyber terrorists are licking their proverbial chops in anticipation of plundering the bank accounts of an unprotected industry.
That has left the restaurant and foodservice professional scrambling to defend their turf. With that in mind, an enterprising IT professional Georg Dauterman has positioned his company Valiant to provide industry specific cyber-security to protect the interests of the nation’s restaurants.
Over the course of the past year many restaurants and food service operators have shifted the way they have run their business, from analog systems to more advanced digital systems. With this change in operational systems many restaurants are finding themselves susceptible to cyber-attacks. Dauterman and his Valiant team offer a comprehensive cyber defense for the restaurant and food service operator.
“Our company provides numerous services to our customers and functions in a variety of ways including an IT help desk for your daily needs, all the way up to strategic consulting for the technological side of your business,” said Valiant’s President, Dauterman. “Our goal is to create a technological environment and infrastructure that allows an entrepreneur’s vision to come true. We do this so that the entrepreneur can focus on building their business, being creative and serving their dining patrons.”
For those questioning if retaining a cybersecurity company like Valiant is a savvy investment, Dauterman has the answer. “Most entrepreneurs are optimists; they do not plan for negative events like a cyber-attack. Forty percent of small to medium size businesses can be out of business in a year after suffering a cyber breach,” said Dauterman. “Say you lose your ability to process credit cards, it will turn into the loss of your customer’s trust. The business disruption caused by a cyber-attack, piled on with the pandemic is a deadly duo for any business.”
In the wake of the pandemic when many businesses shifted to a virtual approach cybersecurity, Dauterman suggests, should be a top priority for any restaurant or food service operation. “Our working environment has dramatically changed from working in an office or a secure place, to working remotely, through laptops and phones. What that means is that data needs to be available to anyone at any time,” Dauterman continued. “This shift to working remotely has spurred on the enhanced need for cybersecurity. In the past data used to be in this vault or safe that was hard to get at. Now data has become much more complicated to secure, this has spurred on the need for cybersecurity. The bad actors are taking advantage of the fact that your business’ data is now out in the wild and no longer secured in your office.”
For those who are wondering what steps Valiant would take in providing the cybersecurity for their business, Dauterman explained their process. “We suggest to every business that they follow a set of best practices. The first step is to identify the critical systems that you need to operate your business or perform a business impact analysis. What we do is work with the entrepreneur or business operator to see what systems they need to operate,” outlined Dauterman. “The second step that we perform is to make sure patches are up to date, that their passwords are secure, and that they have multi-factor identification in place. We do this because, if there is a breach, we can identify the individual component that is breached and make sure that the attackers cannot spread to other areas of your business.”
Following a year of lost profits and slimmer margins, two questions that many restaurant owners and food service operators may have are: how much will these services cost, and what services does my business need? Again, Dauterman has the answer. “The way we do pricing is based on a per user model, or the number of users that your system would have. We also consider some variables such as complexity of environment, shared resources and the number of workstations or terminals in a restaurant. In addition, to looking at the hours of operation and the size of the facility,” Dauterman concluded. “There is a line of demarcation of cost when it comes to cybersecurity, there is reasonably priced practices that everyone should be doing, and then there is the next level of expense where you add in a 24/7 security operations center. Our prices differentiate based upon the needs of your business and if you need this 24/7 security monitoring. Usually, restaurants and hotels do not need this monitoring.”
More information regarding Valiant and their cybersecurity services can be found online at the Valiant website.