Collection: POS Service

Your Store Needs a Secure POS System

You may have security measures like surveillance cameras, alarm systems and locked cash drawers in place to prevent break-ins and theft in your store, but have you considered whether your point-of-sale (POS) system is secure? Whether through a physical break-in or a virtual one, a thief may target your POS system for the sensitive data it holds. The most valuable data to criminals is your customers’ payment information. An insecure POS system can expose your customers to credit card theft and can cause irreparable damage to your company’s reputation. We’re going to look in more detail at why you need a POS system and how you can keep your customers’ data secure so your business can grow and thrive rather than being brought down by a data breach. 

How POS Systems Handle Payment Processing Data

We’ve focused on how data can be stolen from a POS system, but we should also talk about how that data gets there in the first place. POS systems can hold data relating to a store’s inventory, employee schedules and more. In most cases, this is not the data people are interested in stealing. Instead, it is your customers’ payment information that is so attractive to criminals. If they can get a person’s credit card information, they can use that information to make fraudulent purchases or can sell each credit card’s information. Even with security developments like EMV chipped credit cards, stealing credit card information continues to be a lucrative business for cybercriminals. Payment processing can be a bit complicated to understand, but when it comes to security, the important thing to understand is what data makes it onto your POS. There are three basic scenarios:
  1. Disconnected: In some cases, the POS is not actually involved in the payment processing at all. The card reader device does not communicate with the POS and functions completely independently. Unfortunately, this setup adds steps to the checkout process and allows more room for human error. The one upside is that your POS won’t store any payment information.
  2. Fully integrated: Another scenario is that your card reader and POS are seamlessly integrated. This setup is much more convenient and streamlined, but it often means your POS is holding onto sensitive payment data. As we’ve seen, this is dangerous since it makes your POS system a target for theft.
  3. Semi-integrated:  In this scenario, the POS asks the card reader device to process a charge for a certain amount, and the card reader alone deals with the credit card data. It passes the payment information on in an encrypted form to the processing network and then says whether the payment was authorized or declined. The card reader sends the authorization code and authorized amount to the POS to complete the checkout process.

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