Point of sale theft

Point-of-sale systems use mainstream software to accept payments, connect to banks and other financial institutions, transfer funds, store personal information, manage sales inventory and much more. Hackers are continuously looking for opportunities to breach established security protocols using a technique known as port scanning. Hackers do this either for self-gratification or as part of a crime syndicate.

In today’s data driven society, personal information has become a commodity and hackers use malware infections on POS systems and backdoors with remote access to hijack information. All types and sizes of business establishments are vulnerable to Cyber-attacks. Preventative measures and detection techniques can help reduce the frequency and size of losses.

Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Point of Sale Theft:

  • Change factory default administrative passwords on all POS systems because hackers are always scanning the internet for easy passwords to crack.
  • Implement a firewall or access control list on remote access/administration services, and only use secure proven technology for remote access.

Hackers cannot steal from point-of-sale systems they are unable to reach. In addition to preventing hackers from reaching your POS system, consider:

  • Avoid using POS systems to browse the web or perform any tasks on the Internet for that matter.
  • Ensure your POS is a PCI DSS compliant application.
  • If a third-party vendor manages your POS system, it is recommended that you ask for confirmation on the above. If possible, obtain documentation from the vendor as proof of completed tasks.

Following these simple practices will save money, time and other troubles for your business and your customers.

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© The Banking Association South Africa 2019