Introduction To POS Security

POS Security Meaning

POS stands for Point-of-Sale. A POS system involves accepting payment card transactions. A POS machine processes the transaction between a merchant and a customer. A POS system consists of the POS machine or cash register, card readers, and barcode readers. Any computing device is vulnerable to threats and so is a POS machine. This is where knowledge of POS security is handy.

POS security refers to the prevention of unauthorized access to POS sensitive data. This includes the customer’s credit card and bank account details. POS security aims to safeguard you from various threats that target POS systems.

You will learn about the different point of sale system vulnerabilities. You will also know along the way about various POS security measures. You will understand why SecureBox is the right security software for you.

POS System Vulnerabilities

Vulnerability in computing refers to a weakness either in hardware or software. These are the security risks that attract threats. You need to provide a POS security solution for each vulnerability.

Here are some point of sale system vulnerabilities:

1. Outdated software

Software refers to the programs, operating systems, and device drivers among others. Anything you could see on the computer screen is under software category by default. A POS machine relies on operating system software like Microsoft Windows. Anything that runs an operating system also needs software for drivers.

Without drivers, hardware devices like the card and barcode readers would not function. Updating every piece of software or program is necessary. You can do this through patching. A patch contains fixes to existing bugs and vulnerabilities. It also contains software upgrades or updates.

POS machines running on old operating systems are vulnerable to various threats. There are POS machines out there that still use Windows XP. Microsoft stopped providing software patches for Windows XP back in 2009.

Updating software is a good POS security solution.

2. Default usernames and passwords

Another vulnerability associated with POS security involves a human weakness. This is using the default vendor-supplied usernames and passwords. The human weakness part is the laziness to change this.

An example of this is using “admin” as username and “1234” as a password. This is the default device configuration for a device or software product.

POS security standards like PCI DSS advises merchants to change the default password. Changing it should also adhere to some requirements. A strong password is necessary. It should contain alphanumeric and special characters. A password must at least have eight characters. It should not be about you nor a word in the dictionary.

Cybercriminals can crack weak passwords immediately. A password that contains a dictionary word is the most vulnerable.

3. Memory scraping

POS machines are vulnerable to memory or RAM-scraping attacks. This cyber attack injects memory-scraping malware into the POS system. It looks for sensitive data like credit card numbers and usernames and passwords.

Memory-scraping malware poses a great threat to POS security. It bypasses existing security. It attacks the network first and can route around encryption.

This malware is on top of the priority list. Using software that provides malware detection, prevention, and removal is advisable. SecureBox is a great POS security solution. It protects you from the following malware:

  • Viruses
  • Trojans
  • Worms
  • Rootkits
  • Spyware
  • Adware
  • Ransomware

4. Physical security

There are also vulnerabilities on the physical side of POS security. An attacker can insert a USB device containing malware while no one is looking at the POS machine.

An attacker could also place a skimming device on ATM terminals. These attacks target someone’s sensitive data like credit/debit card numbers.

To avoid this from happening, it is advisable to install security cameras. You can also hire security guards to watch over these machines.

5. No form of encryption

Data is worthless if a cybercriminal can’t decipher it. This is the benefit of using encryption. Your POS security software should encrypt data from one end to another. It should also encrypt data while in storage. Using end-to-end encryption or E2EE is common today. Using HTTP/TLS together is effective as well.

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. TLS stands for Transport Layer Security. This is the standard today. You can tell if a website uses this if there’s a lock icon beside it in the URL of the browser.

SecureBox uses keystroke encryption technology. This thwarts keylogging malware.

6. Firewall is missing

Having no firewall is also a vulnerability. This is your first line of defense against threats. An attacker would try to defeat your POS security measures Provide Strong Tag using all possible means. They will try to infiltrate your POS system first. A firewall does a good job of stopping intrusions.

One of the best features of SecureBox is that it can act as a web application firewall or WAF. It will watch your POS system for any sign of intrusion 24/7. SecureBox is, in fact, an award-winning intrusion detection and prevention program.

Conclusion

You have learned about the different point of sale system vulnerabilities. For each vulnerability, you also learned the corresponding POS security measures. SecureBox is a multi-feature award-winning all-in-one security software. Sign up now to get a free trial!



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