By Wednesday this week, Coop Sweden was able to reopen about 500 of the total 800 shops that had to be closed after a cyber-attack. Hackers had blocked the company’s cash register systems through an infected desktop management tool. Coop therefore had to close almost all its supermarkets on Friday afternoon. It was not until Monday that sales outlets were able to reopen gradually.
Scan&Pay app speeds up resumption of operations
Coop is working intensively to solve the problems. To open as many stores as possible quickly, the company is pursuing two approaches in parallel. First, it is enabling customers in many sales outlets to scan and pay their purchases using the Coop Scan&Pay app. At the same time, around 100 IT specialists are updating the POS software of the affected systems. Swedish software specialist Extenda Retail provides the POS software as well as the app.
The retailer’s online business was not affected. Customers could still order goods via the website and have them delivered to their homes. The Coop homepage also offers up-to-date information on the situation. Here, customers can find out which locations have been reopened and where they can shop with the app.
Retailers must expect further attacks
The incident resulted from the cyberattack on US IT service provider Kaseya. Thousands of companies worldwide have been affected. Hacker group REvil is demanding 70 million dollars in crypto-currency Bitcoin for the release of the encrypted data. Such blackmail attempts are increasing severely on a global scale.
Also, retail companies and manufacturers of consumer goods are threatened by cybercrime more frequently. Most recently, Tegut and meat company JBS became victims of such attacks. Tegut did not surrender to the blackmailers but is still struggling with gaps in its product range.
Companies should consider investing more in IT security. However, not all attacks can be prevented. Therefore, it will be necessary to develop strategies for the event of a crisis. An IT infrastructure with applications that are independent of each other can help maintain operations, as the example of the Coop Scan & Pay app shows.