Patrick has been mulling about upgrading the IT structure of his hardware store and among his plans is to integrate online business tools and applications to his current setup, including a new point of sales software. While Patrick is not alien to the web based business solutions and software, he asks for some advice on how to choose a very secure POS for his small business.
“I have been using an old point of sales software for my enterprise and it has been a good ride for me. But things are changing and business requirements are evolving. I believe that it is high time that I search for something that can help me with my POS needs in ways my old system can’t. In particular, I am searching for a point of sales platform that employs tight security measures. Can you help me how to ascertain if a point of sales software has the best security system in place? Your response will be greatly appreciated.”
Hello Patrick. Indeed, times have really changed and businesses need to adapt as well in order to stay competitive. A secure point of sales system is a basic requirement for all merchants who sell products and services, especially when customers today demand faster and convenient ways to pay for the stuff they buy. You want a system that will not only satisfy your customers, but also protect them and your business against information leaks and fraudulent transactions.
Listed below are 4 expert POS security tips that you should put into practice when you look for a new point of sales system.
When you plan to get a new point of sales platform, make sure it satisfies the requirements set by PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard ). This is crucial for businesses that accepts credit cards as a mode of payment. This is to prevent instances of customer information leakage, as such can not only be damaging to a merchant’s image, but will also be a ground for criminal liability.
Vikas Bhatia, founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Kalki Consulting, says that PCI-compliant POS system should be a standard among merchants. “Make sure to ask your service provider for proof that they passed their PCI DSS evaluations,” Bhatia added.
Technological advances, especially in the business world, are very rapid. That means many cloud based applications and online tools require constant updating and upgrading. When you opt for a point of sales system, check with the provider about their maintenance schedule. An outdated system will significantly hamper your business and render your customers’ credit card data and other information vulnerable.
Bhatia urges business owners to also ensure that their POS providers have “antivirus and anti-malware software installed and updated regularly” to optimize information security and dramatically reduce the probability of a breach to zero.
The POS is usually the weak link in a business setup if its integrated to the overall structure, according to Mark Bower, vice president of product management and solutions architecture for retail security tech provider Voltage Security. This is because most POS systems run on a standard operating system, making them easy targets for malware delivery channels, breaches in the system, or an insider within the organization.
“In use, POS systems should be isolated from other networks to restrict access to payment data flows,” Bower encourages merchants and entrepreneurs.
Encryption is one good way to beef up your POS software security. This will significantly enhance the protection of electronic-based payments such as credit cards, bank to bank transfers, and online payment options such as PayPal. Bear in mind that most software providers offer encryption as a premium service and therefore, it might cost you a hefty fee. But if that means you get added customer data protection, then it is an option many business owners will find worth the investment.
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