The point of sale (POS) breaches have become very common these days again which were at the peak back in 2014. Point of sale (POS) systems comprises of software and hardware for recording sales and other data regarding operations of a retail store. These systems carry information of even tens of millions dollars at the same time at big marts and hypermarket in US and Europe. In case the system is hacked it is easy to trace secret key which is used to initiate any transaction including the 16 digit payment card numbers and pins to unlock POS systems. The breach of POS may be due to virus in system or human attack by cyber criminals in order to steal the secret information. It can easily hack personally identifiable information and ID numbers of merchants. This confidential information is to be sold in respective black markets for evil purposes which lead to cyber thefts. It has become very common in KSA hypermarkets and retail stores as well. Here are some points which every retail and POS system based businesses should know
- Risk for retailers: All retailers are at a risk of breach of POS at any time. Usually small and medium size businesses are more at risk as the security systems are not advanced and hackers can easily bypass security systems. In 2014 on average the cost per each breach was estimated to be $201.
- Multiple attack methods: The cybercrime attack methods mainly comprises of skimming and memory scraping. It involves interception of payment card data.
- Easy Targets for criminals: POS systems are widely installed in hyper markets and are easy target for hackers who can take benefit of stealing thousands of dollars. Half of the total credit card frauds occur in US and rest of the half is committed in rest of the world.
- Technology improvements: Date magnetic strip technology is commonly in use for transactions in North America. By coming October, every retail user has to use EMV chip and PIN technology in his debit or credit card. The PCI (Payment Card Industry) Security Standards Council has emphasized on information generation regarding PCI compliance. This new system will provide strict security for more than 700 transactions per POS system.
- Smart Criminals: Cyber criminals are quick minded and can give very tough time to retailers. Retailers need to improve the security of their systems in order to avoid any kind of theft by hackers. Retail businesses should incorporate incident response plan for sufficient security measures.
- Internet Connection the biggest risk: The Cisco 2014 Midyear Security Report on Industry Trends has explained that the POS which are constantly connected to internet can easily be hacked by hackers resulting in theft of confidential information. They have an easy access to point of sale system which leads to costly thefts. It is recommended for retail systems to detach their data systems from internet and WIFI connectivity. It lessens down the risk of online hacks and thefts to minimum level.
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