Sobeys, Lawtons Drugs still dealing with IT issues



Empire Co. Ltd. remained tight-lipped Tuesday about laptop system issues which are still impeding prospects searching for prescriptions at some pharmacies it operates.

The Nova Scotia-based firm issued a short assertion Monday confirming that an “IT techniques problem” affecting sure pharmacies has prompted “technical difficulties” in filling prescriptions.

Issues at Empire-operated pharmacies, together with Sobeys pharmacies and Lawtons Drugs, have been first reported over the weekend, and a few places in Halifax Tuesday had indicators posted warning prospects of the continuing technical downside. “Unfortunately, presently we’re unable to entry your information to fill a prescription,” an indication at one pharmacy counter stated.

Empire didn’t reply to questions Tuesday about the reason for the IT downside and has not stated when it expects it to be resolved. In its Monday assertion, the corporate stated it stays “dedicated to the continuity of look after all its pharmacy sufferers.”

Anne Genge, the CEO of Alexio, an Ontario-based cybersecurity firm that makes a speciality of well being care, stated the state of affairs is paying homage to the cyberattack that focused Newfoundland and Labrador’s well being system final 12 months.

“The problem right here might be the identical as what we noticed final 12 months in Newfoundland: a ransomware assault,” she stated in an interview Tuesday. A ransomware assault is when hackers steal or encrypt delicate info and demand a fee to launch it.

Genge stated the dimensions of Empire’s system outage and the dearth of public communication from the corporate lead her to imagine that this sort of cyberattack could also be behind the technical issues.

She stated it will not be stunning for Empire to maintain comparatively quiet concerning the IT issues if the corporate have been engaged on a plan to revive the system or negotiate with a potential cyber attacker. “They are inclined to not discuss issues till they have it sorted out,” she stated of organizations going through ransomware assaults.

With about $30.5 billion in annual gross sales and 130,000 staff, Empire’s steady of stores embrace 1,598 shops underneath quite a lot of totally different banners, together with IGA, Safeway, Foodland, RecentCo, Needs, Thrifty Foods, Rachelle-Bery and Bonichoix.

“Our sole focus proper now could be on getting this downside rectified and we’ll present additional updates as related info turns into out there,” Pierre St-Laurent, Empire’s chief working officer, stated within the Monday assertion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Nov. 8, 2022.

This story was produced with the monetary help of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.


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