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point of sale security

Working with vendors for secure points of sale

There's more to securing your business than just preparing for EMV and the associated fraud chargeback liability shift.  Simply buying a new set of payment card readers that can process the new chip-based credit cards is a good first step, but there is a lot more to consider.  Whether you're installing a basic EMV credit card terminal, or need a full-featured point of sale system with EMV capability, you should consult with a POS security expert to make sure you're taking the right steps to help protect your business from fraud as well as card data compromise. 

Re-examine POS system security
Improper installation or system configuration can leave security gaps for small businesses. Responsible POS vendors will guide businesses through the correct set-up of a new or upgraded POS system, in addition to providing secure network configurations and processes.  For example, a surprising number of businesses fail to change default passwords and logins when they install or upgrade POS systems or don't know how to set up a firewall.  Setting up a solid firewall, secure router, and implementing scheduled virus updates are all steps a responsible vendor will take when setting up your secure point of sale system.  

Remote access security
Most integrated POS systems offer remote access. This allows managers to access business-critical information, even if they're on the road. But remote access is also a notorious weakness for hackers. A key Verizon study found remote access played a role in 88 percent of the breaches in its data set(1).

A secure POS vendor can help you set up your remote access in a secure way to minimize the risks it can pose to your system security. 

Once systems are properly installed, staff training helps keep fraud and data compromise at bay. In the case of remote access, a secure POS vendor will suggest limiting the number of remote access users to those with a strong business need and providing them with their own unique logins. 

Login and password security is important. The 2014 security breach at Sally Beauty Supply, for instance, traces back to a manager who had taped his login and password to his laptop computer(2). Vendors can help here, too, with password-creation key chains that produce unique codes for each login.

  1. http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240147309/Verizon-data-breach-report-highlights-continuing-POS-vulnerabilities
  2. http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/05/deconstructing-the-2014-sally-beauty-breach


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