Retail POS Security Breaches Before, During, and After
Let’s face it: all of the new technology available to small businesses today can be great, but it’s also the source of a lot of risk. Retail POS systems in particular are systems that each business depends on, but all too often they’re also the reason why a business sees a loss in sales revenue and customers.
The best way to approach the issue of a data breach is simply to be prepared and to know how you’ll handle the situation, so here are three important situations you should be preparing for: before a security threat appears, when you find out that your retail POS system software has been compromised, and after the breach has occurred.
- Before: Preventative measures are always going to be the best strategies when it comes to fending off security threats. It’s important to have new POS software — the older the software, the more vulnerable your system is — and it’s important to have good anti-virus programs as well. Smaller things, like setting good passwords and closely monitoring for any suspicious activity, are also very important for detecting any possible threats.
- During: The first thing you should do when you suspect that your system has been compromised is to have an IT specialist check the software for any viruses or malware programs. Keep in mind that it may be necessary to replace several key components of your POS software, and that it’s also important to figure out exactly how it happened. It might be the fault of the payment processing company or negligence of the IT department, but it could also have come from a bad email attachment that an employee downloaded accidentally.
- After: After you have some information about the breach and you’ve begun fixing it, don’t wait to tell your customers that your POS system was hacked. If you fail to alert customers to a possible breach of their personal information, your business can actually be held accountable financially for anything stolen from their accounts.
No retail POS software is going to be 100% impenetrable to cyberattacks — but when you’re prepared for the worst case scenario, you’ll be able to get through it if it happens. More on this topic.