Vancouver-based London Drugs closed all its stores following a cyberattack that occurred at the end of April, making it the latest Canadian retailer to experience disruption. The company operates 79 stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The company’s e-commerce site was temporarily unable to fulfill orders for its customers as well. However, pharmacists continued to assist customers with urgent pharmacy needs and advised them to visit their local store if necessary.

Cyberattacks are a growing concern for businesses globally, with other retailers losing millions of dollars in sales and costs due to such incidents. Data security is another concern, with sensitive employee data compromised in the Indigo hack and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario having experienced data breaches targeting customers’ personal information on two separate occasions.

Hackers often demand a ransom to restore access or return sensitive data, but London Drugs has no reason to believe that customer or employee data has been impacted. The retailer brought in third-party cybersecurity experts to help contain the incident and conduct a forensic investigation. The company’s spokespeople did not respond to a question about whether law enforcement had also been called in to investigate.

David Ian Gray, a Vancouver-based consultant to the retail industry, said that he has seen the pace of cyberattacks increase in the past two years and knows of several other retailers that have experienced cybersecurity incidents over that period and never disclosed them publicly.

Almost a week later, London Drugs began a gradual reopening of its stores across Western Canada following the cyberattack. The company worked with each store to ensure their systems were working and ready to serve customers. The company continued working with third-party cybersecurity experts to bring its systems gradually online in a safe and secure manner instead of delaying until all services and systems were fully available.

As of May 7th, London Drugs has reopened all its stores in Western Canada. The company continues to work with independent cybersecurity experts to restore its systems, and there is no evidence of any compromised consumer databases. Pharmacy staff are available at all locations to answer customer questions and address urgent needs. However, the company has not yet been able to fill new prescriptions due to connectivity issues.

Source: CTV News
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