Today: Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 3:54 am (PST)

Computer virus hits Tim Hortons locations, causing closures

Posted by:

Bob Milliken

Bob Milliken

You may recall a story I told here a few weeks ago about CYBER Extortion and how cyber criminals are winning. Here is a real life update that happened the following week that illustrates that story all too clearly.

On February 27th Tim Hortons IT systems were hacked by a computer virus that forced upwards of 1,000 stores across Canada to turn away business. Hands up if you had to go without your morning double-double.

According to their lawyers, the impact of the outage was significant: “The business interruption includes inability to use some or all of the issued cash registers and [point-of-sale] terminals, causing partial and complete store closures, paying employees not to work, lost sales and product spoilage… [the hack] is causing tremendous downward pressure on the value the Tim Hortons brand”.

This was no ordinary computer virus. Tim Hortons was brought down by a Ransomware attack. A situation that they clearly were not ready to handle. Yet, Tim Hortons is not alone. Many businesses continue to foolishly think that their Business Continuity systems are good enough and will protect them from these kinds of attacks. However, the reality for most, is that their systems are not good enough – not even close.

Security Awareness Training Is A Crucial Step Towards Protection

Hackers work 24/7 to obtain access to your confidential information, and using Ransomware is one of the easiest ways for them to do this.  It’s easier for them to trick your employees via a phishing attack than it is to break into a well-secured IT system. Even good employees make mistakes if they aren’t properly trained to recognize a cyber threat.

A Working Backup Is Also A Must To Protect Your Business

You should regularly back up your information to the cloud. A proper working backup system will protect your business from ransomware attacks, as well as provide protection from a power loss event, accidental deletion of data, or a disaster that destroys your servers.

Your Take Away

Last year a major Business Continuity player, Datto, published a report about ransomware and its devastating effects on small businesses. In it Datto revealed that small business, in particular, is extremely vulnerable to Ransomware attacks. You can get your copy of this report by sending me an email.

100% of IT providers agree that if their small-business clients had a proper working backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution in place, they would have been able to recover their data.

Don’t wait until a ransomware attack locks up your data. Get in touch with a reliable cybersecurity expert today that will train your employees and equip your business with an effective backup solution.

Bob Milliken specializes in helping businesses with their IT needs. Our mission is to provide the right solution at the right time. Find us at Bob can be reached at or by phone at 604.986.8170 x101.


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