Why up-to-date POS systems are important for security

The longer companies ignore updating their credit card payment software, the greater the risk for both businesses and their consumers. Even with chip-and-pin compatibility and other modern features, store owners have to acknowledge the changing nature of sales systems for a longterm payment solution. It shouldn't take a major breach for businesses to take the necessary initiative to fix existing security holes.

With the amount of different kinds of threats out there, businesses have multiple incentives to keep the latest software in use. In some cases, the issue could be not an intentional hack but an accidental flaw that leaves data vulnerable from the very beginning. This can also put the burden on businesses to research their systems and learn more about possible early risks that will only be problematic later on.

In a Security Intelligence article from last month, Douglas Bonderud describes the reason POS systems pose continued difficulties for retail companies in particular. He writes that "both the firmware and software shipped with these devices doesn't always meet current IT security standards."

Bonderud goes onto add that "if attackers can intercept consumer data at the POS, there's no need to hack corporate systems and run the risk of widespread detection." The solution, he writes, is to "keep an ear to the ground" to help stay abreast of new POS developments.

A different article, this one from CIO, highlights some of the POS best practices recommended for retailers last year, such as using deep packet inspections and next generation firewalls. However, these are only some potential methods that might not be as useful when preparing for future issues.

The flaws that make payment processor software potentially harmful might require vigilance to fully counteract. Another important step is finding a trusted provider with software that meets the latest standards.

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