In a fast-paced world where making payments with credit and debit cards has become the order of the day, Point-of-Sale (POS) systems have become the most convenient way to make payments with self-service checkouts, quick customer services, and more. These systems are effective, fast, and safe for both the businesses as well as the clients making payments through them.
Yet, as efficient as these payment systems are, they are not immune to being hacked by various POS malware. And sadly, this leads to the loss of personal details from card users and endless lawsuits against the businesses whose POS systems were hacked.
Considering the high value of these Point-Of-Sale systems, both small and large businesses have come to realize that to protect their integrity and the security of their customers, they also need to protect their POS devices from all forms of malicious programming.
With the knowledge that the perpetrators have various ways of attacking the POS systems, it is safe to utilize and employ as many safety measures as possible. Therefore, to help, here are some ways that business owners can protect and prevent their POS systems from being hacked.
Table of Contents
Here are 6 Proven Ways To Prevent POS Hacks
1. Installing An Antivirus Software
A Point-of-Sale system is like your computer system running and functioning through various software programs. The only difference is the POS system is a much smaller version of the computer. And just like your computer, antivirus software installation is the most traditional way to protect it from any malware.
The antivirus software can be downloaded onto the main system adjoined to the POS system or directly to the POS system; once downloaded, it will continuously scan for malicious files or viruses it perceives as dangerous.
The good side of the antivirus is that it constantly works. Hence, your POS system is always protected. Still, the downside is that the POS hacking malware is sometimes stronger and more sophisticated than the antivirus and can sometimes bypass its protective capacity without being detected. To prevent such, you should utilize the best antivirus software available and ensure that you have other means of protecting your POS system.
2. Secure Your Internet Network
Sometimes, POS hacks are done not directly to the system itself but through the internet system of your business. As a business enterprise offering free Wi-Fi services to your clients, allowing them to leave comments and feedback, go through your websites, and having access to free internet—is one of the many ways to ensure improved sales, as noted by b2b SEO best practices. Still, if such network facilities are easily accessible by anyone, you are exposing your POS and your clients to being hacked.
A solution for this sort of situation is to first have a separate and secure network for your POS systems to run on, that is, segment your Wi-Fi from the main system; this way, not just anyone can have access and steal your information.
Also, secure all your networks, from those designated for your POS system and the ones used by the clients with strong passwords, and if possible, change these passwords as often as possible.
3. Use End-To-End Encryption
Employing end-to-end encryption is another safe way to guarantee the safety of all the information stored on your POS systems without worries of these details being poached by hackers.
End-to-end encryption, in simple terms, makes it impossible for anyone outside your system to understand the details or the pieces of information being transferred or stored within the system. The method is sure because it disguises the transferred data, thereby making it extremely difficult or impossible to hack as the information is unintelligible for hackers to use.
To activate encrypted security protection for your POS systems, you’ll need help from cyber security experts. You can find experts in your area or city like cyber security companies in Sacramento for example, who are specialized in offering a wide range of security services from expert assistance to top-notch security means for the utmost protection of your business and your clients.
4. Monitor Your Payment Terminals
Another simple but effective method of preventing POS systems from hacking is to monitor your payment terminals through video surveillance, frequent checks, and maintenance. Other common hacking methods employed are card skimmers, attached cables, and others designed to capture payment information whenever the POS system is used, or a card is swiped.
By properly monitoring your payment terminals through surveillance cameras, you can spot when such malicious moves are made to catch the perpetrators and prevent any hacking. In addition, you can carry out frequent checks of your payment terminals to double-check in case you missed anything through video surveillance.
Frequent maintenance is also a good way to protect your terminals. Check for tampered cables to ensure that all the devices connected to your POS system are those installed by you, confirm the serial number of all parts, and ensure that they are securely fitted where they need to be.
5. Update POS Software
An outdated POS software is more susceptible to hacking than an updated version that is up to speed with the current trends and needs of its users. As you update your computer software now and then to fix bugs, it is pertinent that you update your POS system software too.
The updates not only ensure that the POS would function better with new features to improve the functionality of your small business POS software but also come with improved protective means to make your POS system less susceptible to hacking.
6. Limit Access to Your POS Systems
You never know who the carrier of the bug that could hack your POS system at the end of the day might be; therefore, a safe way to protect your system is to limit access to it. Create levels of access to the POS system so that not just any one of your employees can have unrestricted access to its functions.
Another thing to do is to keep a list of those who can access the POS as well as the level of access they have so that whenever there is an issue, you can trace it to a certain individual at any point in time.
Running a business with a Point-of-Service system is a huge move; it facilitates your financial transactions and protects you from daylight robbery as you hold no cash. But despite the safety offered by the system, it is still susceptible to hacking.
Thankfully, just as hackers have been working hard to hack, cyber security companies have been coming up with countless ways to improve the security of your system, like the ones mentioned in this article. To ensure that your POS system is always safe, utilize as many means as possible, and always be prepared.