EPOS hardware can protect customer information, making it a crucial asset in the digital era.
With the advent of mobile pay, online ordering and e-commerce, it becomes very important to protect customer information. Loss of information is disastrous for any hospitality or retail business because it means loss of credibility and trust with consumers which then results in less business. Hence, it is important to protect information with the right hardware.
Before explaining how EPOS hardware can secure your information, it is important to explain how information is stolen from systems. Thieves steal information by directly accessing the hardware (either by working as or working with an employee).
Once they have access to EPOS hardware, they perform skimming, the most common method of robbery. Skimming means installing extra hardware on the system to read and record information. They often use malware to bypass security measures and steal information and this malware can then read credit card information while payments are processed – payment processing is the one time when information is not encrypted, making it especially vulnerable to robbery.
However, by investing in the right EPOS hardware, retail and hospitality businesses can safeguard their customers’ data.
Invest in PCI-Compliant hardware to protect customer information. The PCI refers to the Payment Card Industry Security Standards formed by several credit card companies to monitor credit card transactions and to set the standards for safety in credit card transactions. The PCI provides the training, certification and tools needed to meet their own security standards. Hence, if business owners invested in EPOS hardware, then it must be PCI-compliant hardware.
Criminals need physical access to EPOS hardware, so monitoring the hardware can discourage thieves from tampering with the site. Fortunately, most EPOS software comes with a security system that allows owners to monitor the hardware throughout the day. EPOS features an employee registration system for owners to track who used the registrar and accessed the software throughout the day. Security systems are a long-term investment for business owners because they can monitor their EPOS terminal even when they are not in the office.
If the EPOS system is connected to an external network, then it is vulnerable to an attack. Hackers can access information remotely if the system is connected to an external network. Hence, it is best to limit internet activity to minimise the chances of a hacker installing malware onto the system. Another precautionary measure is to restrict remote access. Keeping remote access under strict control might be a little inconvenient (for example, it will be difficult to manage the business from outside), but the benefit is a more secure point of sale setup.
Endpoint encryption, anti-virus software and firewalls can secure EPOS hardware and protect customer information. Credit card information is vulnerable during payment processing because the information is not encrypted at this point but endpoint encryption protects customer information while the payment is processed. Antivirus software combined with endpoint encryption is particularly useful because it can scan the hardware for files and apps to remove malware that steals information. Along with antiviruses, firewalls should provide an extra layer of security, which reduces the chances of viruses getting into the EPOS system.
In 2013, Target, a prominent US retailer, was hacked and customer data were stolen. The case was only resolved when Target agreed to pay out $18.7 million in damages. Target would eventually recover, but why take a chance if you’re a much smaller business? The possibility of an attack is real and not everyone can recover from the fallout of a data breach the way Target did.
Hence, retail and hospitality can (and should) protect their customer data using EPOS systems. After all, customer data is one of the most important assets a business can own, so it makes sense to protect it using high-end EPOS hardware and software. By investing in EPOS hardware that protects customer information, businesses will enjoy profitability and customer loyalty for years to come. Securing information is the best option for retailers that want to stay relevant, competitive and profitable.