8 Ways to Secure Point of Sale (PoS)

Posted by graham.westbrook
August 24, 2020

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Point of Sale (PoS) Systems & How to Protect Them

Cash is no longer king! Today we’re talking about credit cards, online payments and mobile transactions. It’s all about how to protect the systems that process digital cash!

The Ups and Downs of Point of Sale (PoS)

You probably already know that the system behind cashless payments is called point of sale (or PoS). In short, it’s a complex network of computers, terminals and programs processing digital cash in digital safes. Depending on the scale of your business, there may be hundreds of thousands of transactions every day. And that means a lot of very sensitive data you need to take care of.

No wonder point of sale systems are very attractive targets for cybercriminals! To hack them, criminals often exploit a vulnerability oin the PoS system or use social engineering tactics such as phishing to make a change. Once in, they install malware which allows them to access the data they were after – credit card details and personal information of your clients. The consequences of such an attack can cost a lot, both in terms of money and reputation loss.

8 Tips on How to Protect your PoS System

Here is what you should think of to keep your PoS system as safe as possible: 

  1. Regularly update your PoS software and always use the newest version of your operating system – this way you can be sure you have the most updated security support from your providers; 
  2. Install a good anti-virus on your PoS system and run it constantly. Keep checking out your system for any anomalous activity which may suggest a threat; 
  3. Use end-to-end encryption: this will help you making sure your data will not fall into the wrong hands;
  4. Make sure your company has a virtual private network (VPN) which secures all data. Never use the PoS system on the public Wi-Fi as it can be easily exploited by attackers; 
  5. Change your default password once you set up your PoS system: it may happen that cybercriminals gain access to manufacturers’ lists of passwords and use them to hack networks. Remember to always use complex, secure passwords and two-factor authentication;
  6. Have a thorough cybersecurity policy in place and make sure your employees follow it. Perform regular vulnerability testing to identify weaknesses and keep updating your policy when any weaknesses are detected;
  7. Implement a system of blocking apps which are not necessary to the running of your PoS system as they may add risk to its operation;
  8. Always comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) – their rules are your best handbook when it comes to security;

One of the most important things you can do to protect your PoS system is to educate yourself and your employees so that you can recognize the threats if you encounter them. Get trained today and minimalize your chances of being (digitally) robbed!

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