Are little wineries’ digital devices safe?
These 18 pandemic months have been really heavy and sad, and maybe it isn’t finished. Our habits have changed, too, for work and for business. Using computer and mobile devices has grown, but not all users know how to use in safety mode their devices.
Little vineries, and little business in general, often lack the capacity to make safe from viruses, malwares and other bad cyber-things their networks. Now the business is to sell more and more computers, smartphones, routers. But who manage all these devices, who check if all these equipment are well connected and our data are safe?
Firstly, all that is on customer’s shoulders, but a little vinery, so as a little business, has a little budget and don’t use it for those cyber-things-I-don’t-care.
But this is a big problem, in my opinion, for little business:
- hasn’t a digital knowledge, and everyone can sell them everything
- has many digital devices and platforms but it doesn’t know how to use them
- doesn’t know what Cyber Security means
These are 3 really basic points, mainly the 3rd. Don’t think that cyber criminals shot only great companies like banks, power stations, science centers. The first step is to gain access and stole account and data of the weaker ring of the chain, and a little business it is.
In August 2020, cybercriminals seem to prefer summer, Brown-Forman, one of the largest wine and spirits distributors in the US: about 1 TB of data was stolen, with all transactions, emails, the contracts stipulated by the company.
In March of this year Taylor’s Winery, South Australia Clare’s Valley, was the subject of a ransomware attack that blocked the entire mail system and made 2020 production data unavailable. Winery manager Mitchell Taylor said he did not know for what motive these criminals blamed on his company.
I have a 30 yrs experience in IT (Information Technology), and I would put my knowledge at wineries service (and I hope my English is enough to explain it); here 5 point of attention about cyber security. May be these can seem simple, but they are the start point about it.
- Security policies: Check with your IT vendor how often and how they update recommended security patches
- Update devices: too often cyber attacks exploit systems with outdated software, a camera, a smartphone or your personal computer
- Change the password: when you buy any device, be it a router or a laptop, usually the access password is the manufacturer’s default one. Change it now, the lists of these passwords go around the net more than Belen’s photos. And avoid putting 12345678 …
- Router security: use the WPA2 or WPA3 settings to access the internal functions of the router, and constantly check for updates. If you don’t know what I’m saying, ask your provider
- Buy certified devices: certification means that that device has also been verified in the software, and sometimes spending little means having little controlled equipment. So always check who the manufacturer is and its policies for certification, hardware and software
These are only the starting point to ask yourself: are my digital data safe? Let’s start a checkpoint of your network, your computers, your devices. And don’t forget all others things as cameras, wifi printers, sensors, meteo stations. This is your outer perimeter.
I publish the newsletter thedigitalwine.substack.com