Operating a retail store involves various administrative, marketing, and managerial tasks. You need to ensure that there are enough products to sell, a system for inventory and reports, customer care protocol, and store maintenance. The gruelling number of tasks that need to be accomplished is why a point-of-sale (POS) system is important.
The convenience that this system offers makes it a necessity for businesses. However, there are also security fears. Cybercriminals can take advantage of a weakness in your system and steal valuable information. POS data security issues in Ontario should not hinder any business owner or customer from transacting through these terminals. The key to preventing attacks is to understand their nature and take measures to prevent them.
How Does a Pos System Work?
To put it simply, a POS system is composed of hardware and software that work together to process the payment transactions of a purchase. It can perform all the basic functions of a cash register like tracking sales, adding taxes, and creating receipts.
If you’re running a fashion store, for example, you have to juggle a multitude of tasks, from attending to customers and tracking your stocks according to style, colour, and size to tallying sales for the day. Simple mistakes can be costly and more difficult to rectify. Using a POS to collect and store this information makes it easier to track transactions whether on your physical store or through eCommerce channels.
How POS Data Can Be Breached
News of point-of-sale data security breaches abound. Small and medium-sized businesses are often easy targets for cybercriminals due to lax security and policies.
Point-of-sale malware attacks are common because the system is linked to the Internet. Security is critical because it will only take one POS data security violation in Toronto to lose income and clients.
There are many ways cybercriminals can penetrate your network and steal the data stored in your system, here are some:
- Installing random access memory scanners to computers and obtaining their credit data after they swipe at the terminals
- Phishing emails that are sent to clients who made transactions using cashless methods (i.e. bank transfer applications
- Installing skimming devices in POS terminals
- Lacking multiple factor authentication
How to Protect Your POS
To ensure the security of your point-of-sale data security in cloud computing, you need to observe tight security protocols. You can get a consultant or contract a managed security service to prevent breaches.
Here are tips to encourage point-of-sale data security management safety:
- Encrypting POS data
Encrypting is a measure done to protect private and personal data by using unique codes that mix data so it will be impossible for intruders to read. Even if a point-of-sale data breach was successful or if intruders get past a firewall, private information remains safe.
- Application whitelisting
Application whitelisting refers to the practice of specifying an index of approved software applications and executable files that can be allowed on a computer system. The goal here is to protect the point-of-sale data security network of Ontario businesses against potentially harmful applications.
- Installing software updates
Installing software updates can be tricky in such that malware attacks are often disguised as legitimate prompts. If you have a few staff members, train them to properly install updates and to keep a keen eye on which ones are allowed.
- Regular testing
Penetration testing is a controlled form of hacking to ward off POS security risks in Ontario establishments. A professional tester will use the technique often used by criminals in searching for any vulnerability in the network or applications.
- Monitoring of anomalous activity
Installing a good antivirus system helps in keeping your POS system running efficiently and constantly. It can help you better monitor your system for any anomalous activity (i.e. high traffic, lacking inventories, or unauthorized movements of funds) which suggest that there is a threat to your data.
- Network segmentation
Network segmentation, in architecture, refers to a way a network is divided into several segments with each acting as a subnet or small network. It allows for better traffic flow between subnets to improve monitoring, localize technical issues, boost performance, and enhance security. By doing this, attacks are contained and easier to address.
- Using complex passwords and two-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication is a protection that requires the buyer to use at least 2 verification factors before payments push through. A point-of-sale data security key may be asked when using a debit card, for example, aside from the PIN in order for the transaction to be credited.
- Running antivirus software
Cyber threats and malware attacks can be prevented by investing in a sophisticated antivirus system. Always ask your service provider for security software options that suit your needs.
- Physical security for POS system
Apart from the salient points of the data privacy act you also have to be mindful of the physical security of your POS system. They may not get cash but cybercriminals can attach card skimmers to the device and steal customer data when they scan cards for payments. Train employees to keep a watchful eye on these actions.
Choosing a POS system in Toronto should be well-thought-out. There are different considerations especially when it comes to protecting the data of clients. Also, choose a sturdy and long-lasting system that can support your business needs for future expansions.
A POS system for your business can help compartmentalize tasks, leaving you with more time to manage your business. Partner with POSRG Canada for a safe and secure point-of-sale system in Toronto. Call us at (905) 332-8809 for your needs.