Breach, Threat Management, Data Security

Point-of-sale data breach bad for Whole Foods’ health

Amazon's new acquisition, Whole Foods Market, disclosed on Thursday that its has suffered a point-of-sale data breach that compromised the payment card information of customers who used its taprooms and full table-service restaurants.

The actual grocery store checkout systems were not impacted, however, as they run on a separate POS system than those affected. Likewise,'s systems were not in any way impacted. In August, Amazon purchased the food retailer in a $13.7 billion deal.

Michael Daly, CTO of Raytheon's cybersecurity business, said that having separate POS systems for Whole Food's grocery checkout and food-service venues prevented a much bigger headache. "In a contested environment like this, segmenting the networks, like WholeFoods did with its unique restaurant and taproom environment, saves other parts of the business from also being breached," Daly said in e-mailed comments. "Whether the segmented approach was happenstance or not, there is a lesson to be taken from today's breach.”

In a company news statement, Whole Foods said it has "launched an investigation, obtained the help of a leading cyber security forensics firm, contacted law enforcement, and is taking appropriate measures to address the issue."

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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