As the operator of 18 Arby’s restaurants in Southern Indiana and Kentucky, Lavco Food Services thoroughly understands the need to uphold the corporate brand while delivering a unique customer experience at each location. And, as a non-technical person who’s closely involved in all of the restaurants’ operations, owner Chris Bowling realizes the value of an easy-to-manage IT solution.
After experiencing ongoing technical support issues with his previous network provider, Netsurion, Bowling knew he had to find a better way to keep his restaurants running smoothly and securely. Acting on advice from his trusted technology partner he decided to make the switch to an innovative yet simplified network based on the Cybera Network Managed Services Platform.
The Growing Need for Security and PCI Compliance
Bowling notes, “We primarily went with Cybera for better support, but we also were interested in the 4G wireless backup system that would enable us to quickly fail over in case we lost an Internet connection.”
One of the core challenges for Lavco—and for many other quick service restaurants (QSRs)—was the fact that its 18 stores used a different point-of-sale (POS) system than the corporate Arby’s POS system. That meant Lavco needed a workaround to support the Aloha platform it used for credit card processing, along with additional security measures to ensure payment card industry (PCI) compliance.
“We have to worry about potential vulnerabilities that we wouldn’t face if we had a chip-only credit card system,” Bowling explains. “We’re highly focused on security, because credit cards represent our biggest potential vulnerability.”
Prioritizing 4G Wireless Backup
Another key concern was the intermittent issues with various restaurants’ broadband Internet connections. Because many of the restaurants are located in rural areas, some using DSL connections, they occasionally experienced connectivity disruptions—one of the reasons Bowling made 4G wireless backup such a high priority.
Bowling says, “My number one concern is that even if we lose our primary Internet connection, we must still be able to process credit cards and our cloud-based programs that manage all of our operations. Security goes hand-in-hand with that, which is why we now use four layers of security.”
A Modern, Cloud-Based Network
The Cybera Network Managed Services Platform leverages a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) platform that fundamentally changes the way distributed businesses deploy, secure, and optimize applications and technologies. The modern, cloud-based networking approach greatly reduces the cost and time to deliver new services across multiple locations.
In particular, the Cybera Security and Networking Package focuses on:
• Enhanced security: PCI-compliant cloud payment processing includes a hosted firewall.
• Business continuity: Enterprise-grade 4G/LTE wireless backup provides seamless failover in case a primary Internet connection goes down.
• Simplified installation: A plug-and-play Cybera edge appliance works with any type of network, and can be set up by non-technical employees.
• Operations and maintenance: World-class Cybera technical support is available 24×7×365.
A Cybera SCA-325 Edge Appliance now resides at each Arby’s restaurant, connecting the back-office server and POS system to the Cybera cloud and back-office operations software. “I really like the appliance,” Bowling states. “All my equipment connected to the Internet goes through the Cybera firewall in the appliance. We’re not seeing any PCI violations behind the Cybera firewall.”
A Stable Foundation for Growth
With the Cybera solution now in place, Lavco has stabilized its IT operations and is embracing the next steps in its business growth. The company is currently focused on enhancing its PCI compliance process, with help from Cybera.
Bowling utilizes the online Cybera PCI Compliance Portal for Merchants, which features a time-saving self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) tool to streamline the document creation and submission process required for PCI compliance.
Looking to the future, Bowling explains, “We would eventually like to go totally wireless. But we have to maintain the same strict security policies if we lose the primary Internet connection and it switches over to wireless. It has to be a seamless failover and backup process that’s transparent to our customers.”