You make sure your work computers have proper antivirus protection. You maintain a strong firewall between your network and the rest of the world. You teach your employees about the necessity of strong passwords. Yet, if you do not protect your POS system, you can leave your business and your customers vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Why is This Important?
Your POS system is an essential part of your business. If you are a retail store, you may have hundreds of credit cards that go through your system every day. In many ways, a POS system is just another computer system with the same types of vulnerabilities. The larger concern is that if a POS system is attacked by malware, it can mean the loss of sensitive financial information. For this reason, you need to take extra care to make sure your system is protected. Every business needs a system security plan (SSP), and your POS system is part of it.
Use Reputable, Well-Built POS Software
POS software carries out a number of functions. Primarily, it is designed to make secure financial transactions on behalf of your business. It will also do things like track purchases to help improve the inventory process. If you are investing in software, be certain that it has been developed with security in mind. Good software will make it easy for you to limit access to the system based on employee roles. A salesperson does not need the same kind of access as someone from your IT department. This software should also make it simple to whitelist applications, preventing malware from running on the system too easily. Malware protection on your system should frequently update as cyber threats change every day.
Protect Your Customers, Your Business and Your Reputation
Having a secure POS system not only protects your customers’ data, but it also protects your business’ reputation. Even though a cyber attack is not your fault, it still reflects poorly on your organization. Customers may drift to your competitors simply because they no longer feel they can trust you with their data. A large data breach can also cost your business time and money, and your insurance rates will go up in response to the damage. You may also be caught up in class action lawsuits if a large enough group of customers is affected by your lack of preparation.
Don’t believe us? In 2019, DoorDash experienced a large data breach in which information about 4.9 million customers, delivery workers, and merchants were stolen by hackers. In the same year, Checkers’ and Rally’s suffered malware planted by hackers which collected credit card information from systems at over 100 locations. In 2018, Ohio Applebee’s restaurants were breached, and customers experienced credit card fraud and identity theft as a result.
Many businesses feel that their POS system is good enough as is. However, cyberattacks on POS systems are on the rise. So investing in cybersecurity for your POS is not optional if you want to protect your business, your customers, and your bottom line.
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