Having the right point-of-sale system is paramount to any business success. While other factors like the type of POS system, cost, limitations and features are all important to consider, it is often very easy to overlook one of the most crucial aspects of a POS system: security.
Getting to understand POS security isn’t something for the faint hearted. Not only are there complex regulations, but keeping up with fees and charges is another beast on its own. If you are a small business owner, having to deal with POS security is one necessary evil that is if of course you’d love to enjoy the benefits and convenience of accepting credit cards.
The following can help you.
- Is the Point-Of-Sale System PCI Compliant?
When choosing a new POS system, the first thing to look at is whether it meets the necessary regulations and requirements for accepting credit cards. For example, as of October 2015, new credit card regulations state that merchants are required to have EMV chip enabled POS systems.
Every business that processes credit cards for payments of goods and or services is required to be PCI compliant.
- Updating and Maintaining Purchased Technology
As the world evolves so does technology, and at a rapid pace. The same is true for credit card processing systems. When choosing a POS system, find out from your provider about the maintenance schedule. Having an outdated system in place will put customer credit cards and your business at risk for security breaches.
If you can’t purchase technology (IT or security), then make sure you maintain the system by installing anti-malware and antivirus software. Even the most advanced and up-to-date firewall is useless if it uses default login and password.
In addition to making sure that your POS software is updated, it is also important to regularly check the ever changing PCI compliance regulations and rules to make sure your system meets them. For example, MasterCard and Visa change their PCI regulations and rules at least once a year.
- Isolate your Point-Of- Sale Systems
When you choose a new POS system, it is also worth considering whether you’ll keep the system entirely separate from your business technology and systems.
In general, POS systems tend to be the weakest link in the lineup and vulnerable systems often run on a standard operating system, making them easily prone to attacks when exposed to malware delivery channels like browsers, POS management system that is compromised, patch system or even worse from someone within the organization.
- Encryption Services and Fees
While security is an important aspect in electronic payment processing, it is crucial to understand the types of encryption options available for your POS system.
Find out from the POS vendor if the POS system will require a separate encryption service. Also bear in mind that your encryption may have a monthly fee. Find out as well whether they offer a POS system that comes with an end-to-end encryption, as this will simplify the process, saving you both time and money.