POS systems have become an integral part of many enterprises, especially for those who are into retail, hospitality, food service or similar business. These POS systems have not only replaced cash registers successfully but have simplified the entire accounting process and enabled faster customer service. But like with all good things, POS technology too comes with its share of risks.
Since they were introduced in the market, these POS systems have become a favorite target among the hacking community, because of the fact that they deal with cardholder data. In 2013, Target, the retail giant, was subjected to one of the largest and most publicized POS security breaches of all time, which resulted in the security compromise of nearly 70 million target customers. Then, in September 2014, yet another major retailer (Home Depot) was affected with a POS malware. More recently, Wendy’s, which a fast food chain, fell prey to POS security breach.
As you can see, POS systems have been successfully abused by hackers. Therefore now the question is: how can you safeguard your POS systems against security threats? How can you ensure the POS system you are about to buy offers considerable security?
Can I Set My Own User Name and Password? This might seem an unnecessary question – obviously, POS Vendors are going to allow to set username and password as you desire, right? – but it is worth asking. Because you don’t want to end up with a POS system that doesn’t allow you to change your credentials, forcing you to use default credentials instead.
How Often Do You [POS Vendor] Conduct Maintenance? POS vendor’s job does not end with selling you the POS system. The vendor should provide maintenance service as well. That is, installing updates both on your POS software and other applicable operating systems. If the POS vendor you are approaching does not provide this, then it’s time for you to move on.
Do You [POS Vendor] Use Unique Remote Access Credentials? To carry out maintenance activity (point 2) your POS vendor needs to access your POS system remotely, right? How are they going to access it? Are they going to use unique credentials or the same credentials which they use to access is several other customers of theirs? An important question you should never fail to ask.
Where Are You Going To Setup The POS System? Finally, where is your vendor going to dump the POS application? On a back-office computer? Or on a dedicated and secure computer? Never allow your vendor to install the POS application on a back-office computer which may be used to browse Facebook, access mails and other such activities which may put your computer (and the POS system) at risk.
These 4 simple – yet often overlooked – questions can help you secure your POS system even before you buy it! So don’t forget to ask these questions and avoid those POS vendors who fail to answer them positively.
Next Step: Securing Your POS System
Asking the right questions can help you narrow down on a POS system which is inherently secure. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t need a dedicated software for securing your POS system. You need them, especially considering the sophisticated techniques hackers are employing these days. Therefore the next thing you should do is: secure your POS system using the right kind of security software.
Comodo SecureBox for Your POS Security
Comodo SecureBox, a security software specifically designed for POS protection, comes equipped with Application Containerization technology, which allows you to isolate POS systems from your work environment. This means, even in the worst-case scenario of your POS system being compromised, your enterprise will remain safe [as your POS system is run in an isolated environment].