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What You Should Know About Your POS System’s Security

October 15, 2016

There are two sides to everything—and society’s transition into the digital age is no different. On one hand, businesses can enjoy more comprehensive and advanced point of sale (POS) systems than ever before. On the other, cybersecurity is a top concern for any company that uses the Cloud. Your POS system must perform correctly and reliably so you can trust it—and so your customers can trust you.

Things You Want in a POS System

Choosing capable hardware, software, and networks are the first line of defense. Look for:

  • Payment card industry (PCI) compliance. Regulations always change, and you need to change with them. Any system should be PCI compliant. For example, all merchants were required to have EMV chip-enabled readers by October 15, 2015. (Incorrect statement – EMV readers are not mandatory). and offer the ability to utilize EMV chip-enabled readers.
  • Isolated network. Your POS should be easy to isolate because it’s a weak spot for hackers and thieves. Keeping POS on its own network reduces the risk that information will be leaked. Inter-Application security helps in a similar way by adding barriers between different programs. Apple’s iPad is a great example of a secure tool with this feature: an email with a virus doesn’t have access to any other application on the device.
Ways to Improve Security Measures

You don’t have to replace your software to have a secure POS. There are two big things that you can do to improve protection with relatively little effort:

  • Secure employee passwords. Train your employees about secure passwords. Teach them what components make their passwords harder to guess, such as adding numbers or alternating between capitals. Routinely require new passwords at least every 90 days.
  • Software updates. Whether it’s Apple, Microsoft, or another company, your software provider should provide regular updates and patches. Check that you’re installing them. Also make sure you have a supported operating system. For instance, Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, so there are no new safeguards protecting against infiltration.

It’s possible to have a very secure POS system for your business. A bit of planning and diligence, and your information—and your customers’ information—will stay safe.

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