If you have been processing credit cards on the Internet at your car wash, you have some type of security device, called a firewall, in place today. Unfortunately, the standard firewall you get when you buy a router/firewall at the local electronics store is a passive system. These devices purchased at your local electronics store or consumer grade which means they were not designed to be running business services. The idea of a passive system is that you set up some attributes, called rules, and those rules are supposed to keep the bad guys out and your guys are supposed to be able to get where they are supposed to be to do their work. It sounds like a good idea, but the bad guys have gotten smarter. Here’s the secret that most companies won’t tell you…the bad guys don’t care that you “just run a car wash.”
Most bad guys are not after you personally or your business. In fact, odds are the bad guys are not in your city or your state. They might not even be in your country. Bad guys randomly look for vulnerabilities which are usually on old systems or weak set-ups. Who you are or what type of business you run does not matter. It’s a game for these bad guys and if your security system is not kept up to date, there is a high probability you could be exposed at some point now or in the future.
How do we know this? Did we make it up to scare you? Do we just want you to buy our network and security services? Well, unfortunately, we had one of those passive systems at our car wash. Actually, we had them at all of our washes. Fortunately for us, the exploit that was being used at the time only exposed us at one facility…and the bad guys were only able to take one of our washes down. Would you believe there are people that write attack codes on the Internet that are designed to corrupt the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) that runs your car wash? These same people set up servers to scan the Internet and find ways to attack PLCs just to wreak havoc. They don’t care if it is the PLC that runs your car wash or the manufacturing machine in Mexico. It’s just a game to them, and we lost that round.
The good news is that the story does not end there. What matters is how you respond once you learn something new. Once we understood the impact of having our entire car wash exposed, we resolved to change the way we operated our business. We have always prided ourselves on using the most reliable car wash equipment knowing that if we were not able to run our wash, our revenue would be impacted. This one security incident allowed us to connect the dots and realize it’s not just our car wash equipment that needs to be reliable, it is our entire system. If you are processing credit cards online, have remote access to your site’s car wash equipment, have a connected camera system, or have a computer on your car wash network, you too need to take a holistic approach to the security of your business. That’s what we did and is why we switched to an active security system also known as a next generation firewall. This is a commercial grade system, as opposed to the consumer grade system you get at the local electronics store.
When you start this investigation, you’ll hear technical jargon terms like deep packet inspection and intrusion detection and prevention. What does all that mean and how do you make sense of it? Here’s the easy way to understand it. A passive system is manually managed and is typically a set it and forget it configuration. The problem with this approach is that you only know you have a problem after you have a problem. And then you are left to repair the damage. At Dencar Technology Managed Security & Network Services, we provide an active security system known as a Unified Threat Management (UTM) platform integrated into your network. Our security platform is constantly scanning your network for vulnerabilities and abnormalities. Our security platform is also a learning system. This means that when what was not a vulnerability yesterday is determined to be an exploit today, we can automatically adjust your security policy to prevent the bad guys from impacting your car wash.
Would you like to learn more? Contact us and we would be happy to answer your questions. We want you to understand the importance of moving to an active security system, even if you don’t speak Geek.
We provide a managed security and network design to meet the needs of your car wash. We provide the hardware, software, and life cycle management.