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Reducing Third-Party POS Security Vulnerabilities

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Many of the security issues businesses encounter have to do with their third-party point-of-sale systems. But that doesn't mean point-of-sale systems are inherently vulnerable. Businesses need to find the point-of-sale systems that work best for them -- and they need to be conscientious about their own security needs.

Get a Consolidated Point-of-Sale System

The more components you have within your network, the more likely it will be that you will encounter a vulnerability. Many businesses have a point-of-sale system, merchant card processor, and accounting system, all of which need to be able to work together. In this situation, a compromise of any of these independent components could cause a security issue. It's far better for a business to focus on finding a consolidated accounting, POS and credit card processing suite.

Purchase a Hardware and Software PoS

Some point of sale systems work primarily through a computer system, tablet, or other non-proprietary device. Though these are the most affordable options, it opens up security issues. A computer or tablet is an environment that the point-of-sale company cannot secure. Point-of-sale suites that come with their own proprietary hardware are far more secure because they restrict all non-essential features.

Carefully Manage User Accounts

Employees are often one of the major vulnerabilities for a business. Employee accounts should always be restricted to only the permissions they strictly need -- for instance, an employee should not have the ability to add new users if they aren't a manager. Employee accounts should also be closed whenever an employee separates from a business. Strict password requirements should also be maintained throughout accounts so that employees don't set weak and easily broken passwords. 

Keep Your Software Maintained

There are vulnerabilities in any system. To counter this, point-of-sale systems issue periodic updates and patches, in order to address vulnerabilities that they've discovered. A failure to update the system consistently can lead to the system being compromised by these known attacks. An information technology expert should always be assigned to the regular updating and maintenance of the point-of-sale system. Otherwise it can't be guaranteed that the system is actually secured. 

There are many point-of-sale and credit card processing suites that are highly secured. But to maintain their security, businesses must work with their employees to improve upon their training and must ensure that their own network is protected. Otherwise, a single point-of-sale data breach could result in the compromise of employee, customer, and business records. Contact a business, such as one that offers pos credit card processing, for more information.