Point of Sale systems are probably the most critical piece of payment processing technology. It is the place where transactions are initiated and sales are made. But because the technology runs on large data sets to complete thousands of financial transactions, POS systems are often a prominent target for cyberattacks.
This is the background as to why revamped security measures for POS infrastructure are always a top priority for most merchants. While it is close to an impossibility to eliminate cyber attacks against credit card processing systems permanently, there are plenty of ways to combat POS-targeted threats.
Here, we explore some of the best security solutions for POS systems in 2022.
Install an Up-to-Date Antivirus Software
This is possibly the most obvious yet effective method of POS protection. The purpose of antivirus software is to detect, delete, and quarantine your POS devices against viruses and malicious codes. Interestingly, antivirus software is automated to update you every time a threat is detected.
Most importantly, you want to install an antivirus that is up to date. Modern antivirus programs are designed to auto-update themselves, enabling your POS system to scan the latest malware and viruses.
POS encryption ensures that the user’s card information is encoded immediately after they come into contact with the point of sale. This way, the only person that can access the card data is the holder of a secret key or password – the customer. Literally, no device in the entire POS network can decrypt an encoded system, making POS encryption an extremely complex front for hackers to penetrate. For cost-effectiveness, go for a payment gateway like Stripe, which deploys end-to-end encryption in its systems.
Payment Card Industry Compliance is the benchmark against organizations that implement data security. Although it does not guarantee full data breach protection, PCI compliance offers you insurmountable leverage over potential attackers. The set of rules that define the PCI-DSS standards outline measures organizations should regularly take to identify and patch up vulnerabilities.
To gain the most out of PCI compliance, you want to ensure the stipulated standards cut across the entire POS infrastructure, including servers, routers, networks, and card readers.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication, commonly known as 2FA, is an additional layer of security to your POS system. Basically, 2FA requires you to verify ownership of your password and a code that can only be accessed by you. The security feature minimizes the possibility of account takeover by hackers or malicious customers.
For instance, a takeover of your Square account would grant the hackers the ability to make POS transactions disguised as you or your business representatives. This would also mean that the attackers can withdraw or channel funds to accounts in their favor. With 2FA, you safeguard your POS system from such threats, protecting your business reputation and trust.
Implement a POS Monitoring Service
POS monitoring solutions are designed to trigger real-time alerts of all possible system discrepancies. The primary advantage of sourcing a POS monitoring service is to find payment vulnerabilities and failures as they happen. This is considered both a fraud resilience and cybersecurity approach that applies invariable surveillance tactics to expose malicious activities in your credit card processing system.
The service also provides insights while recommending actionable strategies on how to prevent security-focused losses throughout your payment processing systems. With a proactive POS monitoring service, businesses minimize lower downtimes by leveraging enhanced resource utilization.
Regularly Test Your System
Once the POS system has been deployed to your credit card processing infrastructure, it must be subjected to regular tests to detect and patch up vulnerabilities. A typical POS software test will explore all the relevant system activities, including online and offline transactions, PIN validation, and refunds. The test will also examine the system’s susceptibility to data breaches by running data manipulation techniques.
Vulnerability and penetration assessments are also crucial elements of POS testing. These strategies are employed to determine the level of exposure to risks of POS systems and environments.
Hire Security Experts
One thing that you must keep in mind is that the human element is the force behind security breaches, and the same aspect cannot be ignored in safeguarding POS systems. A Chief Information Officer is good at enforcing security standards and regulations, but they might not always know what a security expert knows.
Security experts are equipped with the technical knowledge and security implementation skills necessary for the safeguarding of POS systems. Again, where the cybersecurity training of your employees is necessary, there is no better person to pass down the knowledge than data security experts.
POS systems offer value for money, and safeguarding the point-of-sale infrastructure must always be prioritized by any growth-focused brand. From hiring security experts and running regular software tests to POS surveillance and PCI compliances, there is always a convenient method to protect your POS systems against cyber and physical threats. And since hackers are always enhancing their skills, keep your POS security solutions informed and updated always.