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Cybersecurity is a major concern for businesses in every industry, and retail is no exception. There’s an ever-increasing amount of information stored and moving between cloud systems. One of the most vulnerable areas in a company’s digital security plan is the point of sale (POS) system. How can you make sure your business is protected? Staying educated and proactive is key to preventing a breach at your retail store. Here are four possible POS system risks that every business owner should know.
The most common POS problems come from a network that isn’t secure. Hackers can infiltrate these weak setups and steal valuable information, such as customer credit card numbers and business account data. Your POS technology should be kept on a separate, password-protected network if possible. Additionally, you should change passwords at least once every 90 days to reduce the chance of infiltration.
Keeping your software up-to-date is vital too. Software companies are always releasing patches and improvements for their operating systems. Staying current means having access to the latest security measures, giving you the peace of mind you need.
Even if the network is protected, your devices need to be secure too. Guarding your computers and tablets with passcodes is a fantastic first step. Train employees to always log out of your POS system when stepping away from it, and to never share passwords or other information. Choose technology products that have inherent security measures. For example, Apple’s iPads won’t compromise other apps if one program is infiltrated.
Phishing is a relatively new hacking technique, where hackers trick employees into opening malicious links through email. After clicking a link, hackers can gain access to both your system and data. To prevent this, train employees never to open any out-of-the-ordinary emails or links that get sent to them. Install a good antivirus system that can automatically block these types of malware. Avoid this problem altogether by training and monitoring employees on their POS device usage, so that they are never checking their personal email or browsing the web on company-owned devices.
Everyone has heard about credit card skimmers placed on gas pumps, and unfortunately retail is becoming a target for skimming as well. These small devices are discretely attached to POS system hardware to collect and access customer credit card information and compromise it. Even though skimmers aren’t prominent at many types of retailers, it’s perfectly possible and should be on your radar. Thieves can slide on a device in just seconds, so it’s important to check your hardware routinely for anything suspicious—and to contact authorities if you find anything.
Cybercrime is growing, becoming more sophisticated and malicious. It’s an unfortunate problem, but one that every company must face. When you take preventative measures and remain diligent, your POS system and information are much more likely to be safe.
Ensure you choose an experienced POS provider like TallySoft who knows the ins and outs of your industry, and can provide advice and ongoing support to keep you protected long-term. Contact us for more information today.
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