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POS Protection: Ways to Keep Your Point of Sale System Safe

There are several options for retailers to enhance their POS security. At Comodo, we believe that implementing a strong POS protection program begins with knowing what it is. Attacks on Point of Sale terminals are sophisticated in nature and, therefore, it needs a focused POS security plan. There have been many data breaches caused by malware that attacks the point-of-sale system and many business owners have decided that they need to focus more on protection from these attacks Cybercriminals employ both hardware and software to steal business data and payment card information from payment networks, so it's important to understand the nature of POS malware and ways to prevent them from infecting a point of sale system.

How to Protect Point of Sale System from POS malware?

POS protection is a weird area for most businesses and security companies because there isn’t a perfect solution that will stop all problems. However, there are some best practices and a POS protection tool that can help. These can include:

1. Use Multi-Layered Protection to Safeguard POS Systems:

Many POS malware out there are extremely sophisticated and multi-staged in nature. Therefore what businesses need to protect their POS systems from such malware attacks is a multi-layered endpoint security solution like Comodo Secure box to successfully counter them.

A PCI-compliant POS protection tool which not only assures high visibility and inspection of events flowing through a point of sale network but also offers policy-based, granular control over traffic logs. Simply put, it is an highly-efficient detection and prevention tool for businesses to identify and fix threats on their POS devices.

2. Install Antivirus to Protect POS:

Not just any traditional antivirus products but sophisticated ones like Comodo SecureBox which employ detection by heuristics mechanism to combat malware. Because detection by heuristics can give POS systems that extra protection by not only fighting against a particular malware but also various variations of that malware.

3. Disabling Remote Access to POS Networks:

Hackers targeting POS system should be able to access the POS terminals remotely in order to inject the malicious code into the system. Therefore an effective way to protect your POS network is to disable remote access to these networks. Because doing so will prevent the hackers from breaking into the POS system.

4. Avoid Accessing the Internet from POS Stations:

POS Stations or Terminals are supposed to be handling payment card processing, inventory data or even CRM requests. Use them exclusively for these purposes and not for accessing or surfing the internet. Because doing so will be like opening the doors of your POS system and inviting the malware to step in.

5. Create Secure Passwords:

Might seem trivial compared to other security measures mentioned here, but one that is often overlooked. The password to your POS system should be an ideal password. That is, it should not be easily guessable and contain the right mix of alphabets, numbers and special characters in it.

6. Use Only the Most Up-to-Date POS Software:

This is a no-brainer and yet we mention it. Because if the Target Hack taught us anything, it is that the hackers love to make POS systems their target. So ensure you purchase only the most up-to-date POS software for handling various kinds of malware attacks.

Updates to the point-of-sale system can include POS security patches. Make sure these are installed promptly so that your system isn’t vulnerable to attack. They can be easy to download and deploy, especially if you have an IT department.

A POS protection tool, such as ours, can also help. Traditional antivirus software can’t detect point of sale malware, but ours works differently. It is designed primarily to thwart attacks on these and other systems, such as ATMs.

You can also consider creating better passwords and require that they are changed every few months. Most company owners tend to use the default password on the Point of Purchase system instead of thinking up new and more difficult ones. These default passwords are posted everywhere online, making it easier for the attacker.

It’s also good practice to use a separate network for the point-of-sale system and not use the Internet on the point of purchase network. Contact us today if you’d like more information.