Anyone who runs a retail store, whether online, physical, or both, knows how important point of sale system security is vital to the health of the business.
Data security breaches can be extremely costly in both the short-term and the long-term, as a customer information breach has major potential to damage the customer-retailer relationship. It’s essential that retailers utilize a multilayered approach and guard against data breaches on every level.
If you are a retailer who wants to ensure that a security breach doesn’t happen, this article will offer four suggestions for tightening up point of sale (POS) system security, most of which are inexpensive and can be implemented quickly. Read on to learn more.
Why is Good POS System Security So Important?
An exceptional point of sale system security is crucial to the success and longevity of your business. Because financial information is involved, POS systems are prime targets for criminal attack. If you operate a retail business, you should make point of sale system security an absolute priority, regardless of the size of your business.
4 Ways to Improve POS System Security
Most retail businesses likely already use variations of most of the tactics listed below, but you should reassess to ensure that their current setup possesses all of these capabilities.
1. Always Backup Data
A failing with older POS systems is that data backups often occur at irregular intervals, as older systems tend to rely on retailers to manually back up the data. These backups might only occur weekly, or even less frequently in some cases.
Failing to back up data and customer information can lead to a handful of missed opportunities, including lost sales data and customer contact info for mailing lists. In addition, the possibility of a full system crash always looms, which could set a retail business back several weeks or even months.
An advantage of cloud-based POS systems and a way in which they can better secure retail businesses is that data is continuously backed up to secure database servers.
The best cloud-based platforms perform full backups every night, as well as incremental backups throughout the day. This approach is not only more secure for customers, but also minimizes the impact on the retailer in the event of a major data loss.
2. Don’t Forget Physical Security
While concerns about electronic breaches are well-founded, some retailers might miss the obvious and fail to properly secure their point of sale system physically.
Many POS experts recommend that you consider installing cameras to monitor the POS terminals at all times. The cameras should, of course, be set up at angles as to not capture customer PIN information. In most cases, camera recordings should be kept for at least 90 days.
3. Limit The Likelihood Of Data Breaches
Basic electronic precautions such as anti-virus software, encryption, firewalls, and strong passwords should all be used as a means of protecting the store’s network. Proper retail store protection will require, at a minimum, an IT consultant or an employee proficient in modern electronic security.
An outstanding POS security system would use multiple firewalls, as well as VPN services, to prevent unauthorized system access.
Moreover, particularly-sensitive data transmissions – such as transmissions between a retailer’s POS system and the service provider, otherwise known as Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) – should be especially well-protected.
4. Prevent Tampering Of POS Equipment
Retailers need to be cognizant of security attacks from all fronts, particularly as the size of their operation continues to grow. While securing a store electronically is vitally important, you also need to ensure that the equipment itself is not tampered with by employees or other unauthorized users.
Credit card provider, Visa, has a number of suggestions for preventing tampering of point of sale system security, including regular inspection of the POS terminals for physical tampering, as well as implementing a terminal authentication system to monitor changes in connectivity and internal electronic serial numbers.
Retailers with physical stores will need to protect themselves in a multitude of ways that online-only retailers will not. There are any number of methods in which POS system security can be breached so always be on the lookout for potential tampering with the equipment itself.
Optimize POS System Security and Increase Profit
By securing or upgrading the security of their point of sale system, you are likely to increase revenue in several different ways. While POS system security can come with upfront costs, the protection against potentially-catastrophic losses makes proper security a very worthwhile investment.
If you think that your POS security could potentially be an issue, or if your retail store is currently running an outdated POS system with inadequate security features, we recommend you consider Vend as a better solution.Vend is a cloud-based point-of-sale and retail platform enabling retailers with accepting payments and selling in-store and online. They also assist in managing the store’s inventory as well as rewarding customer loyalty and reporting on their business in real time – all of which work to improve a retailer’s bottom line.
The cloud-based platform is also heavily encrypted, locking down sensitive customer information obtained at the point of sale and ensuring that information remains secure.e include hyperlinks in the article.