6 Steps to Securing Your Point-of-Sale System
As much as the excitement Point of Sale System brought have not died down yet and while customers and business owners alike are all thrilled to try and experience the convenience it offers, there are some people who are skeptical about this technological advancement and are wary of the security risk it imposes on its users. Since POS system can perform tasks that involve sensitive personal and financial data, it becomes particularly more appealing to cyber criminals.
Yes, it’s true that there will always be security threats but the most important thing to remember is that these threats can be avoided. There are security measures that users of the POS system from both ends should observe and take seriously.
Step 1: Choose POS system that can run in an iPad.
Most POS systems are designed to be used in an iPad not because the developers are loyal users of Apple products, but because of the nature of iPad’s operating system, iOS. Unlike Windows that allows multiple programs to run at once, iOS can only have one program running at a time. This peculiarity prevents a malware, an application that stages an attack, not to run while a POS system is already running. A business owner can choose a POS system that works well with an iPad to lessen the risk of an attack.
Step 2: Use an encryption device so that credit or debit card information are protected from hackers.
Encryption works like sending a secret message using codes that only the sender and receiver of the message can understand. Developers took inspiration for this security measure from the ancient Greek and Roman soldiers who first used the method. Those who knew how to decipher the code had in their possession a tool they can use to translate the codes into a message that makes sense. When someone receives a message using such tool, he would respond using the same codes and nobody else would know what that message is. This is what exactly happens as soon as a credit card is swiped at a POS terminal. Some security measures are so basic that users tend to ignore them altogether. Some of these basic security measures are:
Step 3: Install antivirus software and update it regularly
Using outdated antivirus software is like pitting a level 1 player against a level 8 player. A level 1 player is certainly a no match against a well-equipped and highly-improved player. Same thing with virus and anti-virus software, computer viruses are modified from time to time to be able to get through the layers of an antivirus system so it is just fair that antivirus software is regularly updated to ensure that it can tackle these notorious viruses.
Step 4: Lock down the entire system to avoid unauthorized use.
There should also be a conscious effort to physically secure your systems from unauthorized access. Malwares are not only installed through the internet; some can also be installed using a USB. Strong passwords, code, or even fingerprint can help secure your system after you lock it.
Step 5: Comply to the guidelines set by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
These are security steps that even a 10-year can do efficiently and adults should observe religiously. As the guidelines go, companies should actively track all IT infrastructure and check for its vulnerability. It also suggests that cardholder data should be dispensed immediately, unless necessary, to avoid compromising this information.
Step 6: Have your system checked by an IT security expert.
A healthy practice that can be done even once in a while to avoid attacks. It may sound costly at first but what are the odds of losing an even bigger amount of money in the case a security attack took place?