As the popularity of point-of-sales (POS) systems increases, malware and security breaches launched against the system are also increasing rapidly. The tremendous rise in POS hackings, accompanied by customer and business data usage, has drastically impacted the level of trust consumers have in companies and businesses.
The future of easy payment with POS systems may seem quite shaky and dangerous, especially with the current outlook, but no hope is lost yet. There are still ways enterprises and companies can secure their POS systems to prevent hacking and ensure the safety of their business and clients without much fuss.
In this article, you’ll learn the top POS security measures and our expert advice for your business for maximum protection. And suppose you aren’t a tech-savvy individual or do not know where to find a capable cybersecurity company. In that case, there are well-equipped cybersecurity companies whose sole aim is to offer top-notch security for your POS systems. Regardless of where you are, you can find a security company in Calgary or anywhere else. So, let’s begin.
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Here are 5 Methods of Securing Your POS System
1. Point-to-Point Encryption
One of the many ways to ensure security for your business and your clients from hackers is through point-to-point encryption (P2PE). P2PE is a cybersecurity standard established by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council.
The system encrypts the client’s card information when a payment processor takes payment from the client. With P2PE, all sensitive client information, such as account numbers, account data, and the track data for a completed transaction, is immediately encrypted and protected.
You won’t have to worry about cybersecurity threats hacking into a POS system with integrated P2PE or directly utilizing a P2PE machine. Whatever information cyber criminals extract from the device becomes useless and unreadable.
Although acquiring a P2PE system can get rigorous due to the PCI’s rigid standards, experts highly recommend all business owners adopt P2PE-integrated POS systems to prevent POS hacking.
2. End-to-End Encryption
For business owners unable to get P2PE for their business, another security measure to employ is end-to-end encryption (E2EE). End-to-end encryption works similarly to P2PE, with the only difference being that E2E encryption does not meet the standards and most of the requirements of the PCI council.
Nonetheless, industry insiders consider end-to-end encryption an effective security measure that protects the card user’s sensitive information from hackers through encryption. Encryption happens when the card user enters their details or swipes their card in the machine. Like P2PE, the details are useless to anyone who attempts to utilize them, thereby making it a safe form of protection.
Tokenization, in simple terms, is exchanging highly sensitive data for non-sensitive data in the form of tokens. These tokens can then be used in a database or internal system in place of the original data without bringing the original information into scope.
On their own, tokens have no value but stand for something more valuable. This fact makes tokens useful, but hackers don’t consider their value high enough to hack or strip them of valuable information.
An excellent example of a token and how tokenization works is the poker chip and the poker game. To avoid using cash in the game, players use chips. Although these chips are of no value, especially when stolen, they can be exchanged through a proper system for the right amount of money by the rightful owner.
Tokenization is a highly valuable means of protecting client details. However, even if hackers access a POS system, they can only access tokens with little to no value.
4. Antivirus Software
This might sound old-school, but it is very efficient in securing your POS systems. Antivirus developers designed this software to tackle any form of foreign virus or malware registered as malicious or unidentifiable.
The good side of antivirus software is its non-stop background functionality. This allows it to constantly search for malware and expel it automatically in some cases and with a request in others. However, the downside of the method is that some malware can be highly sophisticated.
For example, some malware can easily blend in with the system and become undetectable or perceived as harmless by the software. In such cases, the antivirus becomes useless, and the POS system is susceptible to attacks.
Also, cybercriminals can hack POS systems through attached cables or card skimmers. In such cases, the antivirus won’t handle the security breach, and you and your customers can lose vital data.
A safe step is to use one or more high-grade antivirus software for optimum protection and security and employ other means of protection to avoid any worst-case scenarios.
5. Employee Training
Most modern POS systems reduce the human touch and function, especially with convenient payment methods. Still, there is no way of avoiding human contact and element with the system. Therefore, you must train your personnel and staff on using the POS system to prevent errors and malware attacks.
Again, providing the necessary cybersecurity equipment with knowledgeable staff to utilize the equipment appropriately is also vital. This way, you have the essential tools to fight any form of hacking, as well as individuals to use the tools.
Another step you can take is to invest in cybersecurity training for your personnel to increase awareness about the dangers and repercussions of hacking and malware. This training can help protect and prevent instances of hacking and acquaint your staff with the best practices on cybersecurity and POS systems.
Abiding by and putting in place the security measures mentioned in this blog post to secure your POS system will guarantee the safety of your clients’ data. Furthermore, you can protect the integrity of your business. Still, it’s best not to rely solely on them.
As advised by cybersecurity experts, applying one or more of these goes a long way. However, business owners can apply other security measures such as monitoring payment points and POS systems, limiting access to the systems, and separating and securing the POS system networks with strong passwords and other means. With all these steps in place, your business can enjoy an enhanced level of security. But always remember to stay vigilant.