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Things to be Done to Secure Cards From Being Hacked in ATMs and POS Terminals

31st October 2016 | By Administrator

ATM hacks and POS security breaches have turned common. There were recent reports of ATM security breaches involving over 3.5 million debit cards in India, following which banks had to block cards. POS security breaches are frequently reported, mostly from the hospitality industry and health sector. POS malware had played mischief at many leading hotels in different parts of the world, which has led to sensitive personal information being stolen in large numbers. Fast food giants, restaurant chains, and prominent retailers have been hit by POS malware and subsequent cyber security breach. Sensitive card data like card numbers, PIN, cardholder name etc gets stolen and perhaps misused in large numbers all across the world.

Prevention always better

As we often say ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Prevention is always better than cure, in cyber security as well. It’s always good to take necessary steps to prevent ATM security breaches and POS security breaches. Let’s examine what all preventive steps can be taken to avoid such cybersecurity breaches, namely ATM security breaches and POS security breaches…

ATM Security


  • Always keep the ATM card in a safe place and never write the PIN on the card. Take care not to keep the PIN anywhere near the card; it’s always better to keep the PIN memorized.
  • Keep the magnetic strip on the back of the card away from moisture, heat or radiation and also make sure it doesn’t get damaged with scratches or such things.
  • If there arises a doubt that someone has in some way got to know the PIN, it’s always good to immediately change it and also check if everything is OK with the account.
  • While using an ATM card at an ATM machine, it’s always good to pay attention to the surroundings and the people around.
  • While using the ATM machine, it’s always advisable to enter the PIN in such a way that it’s not visible to anyone around or to any hidden camera (which might sometimes be placed by cyber criminals).
  • Opting not to do a transaction when someone suspicious is around and watching would be a wise move.
  • Anything suspicious like the presence of suspicious equipment that’s installed near the ATM machine should be immediately reported to the bank.
  • It’s always better not to seek help from strangers as regards using ATM cards.
  • While using ATM card at a retail outlet or a shop, it’s always good to keep the card in sight while the transactions are made. If the POS terminal is away, it won’t be wrong on the customer’s part to insist on the transaction being made in his presence.
  • A person who uses his card at a POS terminal should always insist on getting the fiscal slip and the POS terminal slip.
  • Merchants/retailers who use POS terminals should always ensure PCI compliance and end-to-end encryption. They should also use proper and effective antivirus software to guard themselves and their customers against POS malware strikes.
  • Companies/retailers using POS terminals should train employees to lock down systems at the end of the day or whenever they are not being used.
  • Using Apple devices at POS terminals is better from the security point of view as iOS runs only one app at a time and hence POS malware app won’t run when POS app is running.


ATM Security


ITSM Incident Management

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