Point-of-sale systems are the object of many cyberattacks due to the information they store (i.e., customer account details). Late in 2019, hackers attacked Macy’s website and managed to steal the personal information of people who used the site.
The breach lasted seven days, during which the hackers accumulated an assortment of data, including personal addresses and payment card numbers. This wasn’t the first attack on a POS system, but it served as a reminder of the importance of POS system security.
Here are some important aspects of POS system security that you can use to assess your POS system’s security.
PCI DSS Guidelines and PCI Compliance
PCI DSS stands for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Ensuring that your POS system is PCI-compliant will prevent breaches and limit the scope of the damage if there is a breach. The PCI DSS security procedures include many guidelines protecting customer data, such as different user authentication and firewall guidelines.
The primary issue that PCI guidelines attempt to solve is that of customers’ credit card numbers. To be PCI-compliant means that information handlers (i.e., the merchant) have to encrypt this information if storing or transmitting it.
The notion of PCI compliance emphasizes the importance of encryption; the handled data is sensitive and valuable. As a merchant, you have the responsibility to manage your customers’ information properly. End-to-end encryption means customers’ information is encrypted when it’s entered into the POS terminal and sent to the system’s server. This ensures that malicious software can’t access your data regardless of where it’s installed.
An antivirus program is one of the more obvious solutions to POS system vulnerabilities. However, its conspicuity doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. Antivirus software repeatedly scans your POS system to see if there are any malicious or problematic apps or files in your system. Most antivirus programs offer options to quarantine, remove, and permit software they consider malicious.
In any case, antivirus programs are an effective solution to POS breaches because they do two things you need to keep your system protected. Firstly, they identify and alert you to any problems in your system. Secondly, they also offer cleaning services to rid your system of malicious software.
One of the critical areas of attack is your POS terminals. POS terminals are where credit card and other customer information is entered. So, you should invest in POS terminals that are EMV-approved, PCI-compliant, and end-to-end encrypted. At UIC, we offer secure payment processing solutions that provide all of these benefits and more. Get in touch to bolster your POS system with our mobile payment devices, semi-integrated and unattended payment systems, and more.