Keyboard with the work hack in white letters

Each day seems to bring new headlines about data breaches of all types of systems, including restaurant point-of-sale systems. Earlier this month, the owners of 167 Applebee’s franchise locations warned customers that its restaurants were affected by malware on the point-of-sale system.

Given the threat, it’s imperative that business owners take security seriously and make sure they are working with a point-of-sale company that provides IT professionals who can accurately assess the risks.

To help steer the industry in the right direction, the PCI Security Standards Council has outlined some of the measures that merchants can take to reduce the risk of having their system or network breached.

Here are some of those cybersecurity tips for your point-of-sale:

Password management
This tips is more common sense than anything. It doesn’t need to involve IT per se. The idea is that many systems come with a default password. Hackers can find out the default password and try to use it on your system. If you have not changed the default password, the hacker can access the system. If you do change the default password, the hacker will have a much harder time. It’s as simple as that.
Also, again this is common sense, but make sure you only provide passwords to people and employees who need them and not anyone else. When an employee leaves, make sure to turn of their access.

Secure remote access
Speaking of access, being able to remotely access the point-of-sale system is one of the conveniences of modern technology but it opens the door to potential breaches. To prevent remote access from becoming a vulnerability, work with an IT professional and ask the right questions: how can we prevent unauthorized access? What types of users, if any, should be granted administrator roles? What sort of anti-virus or firewall applications should we be running?
All of these questions will help start the types of conversations business owners need to have with their point-of-sale providers to build up their system defenses.

Software updates
Lastly, keeping software up-to-date will help prevent attacks. Many data breaches are initiated on older systems that have known vulnerabilities. Business owners should ask for regular checks on their software and hardware to stay current and prevent problems from old code.

In the following video, PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) Chief Operating Officer Mauro Lance discusses how training payment system installers on critical data security controls can help businesses prevent payment data breaches.

Have concerns about your point-of-sale system? Contact us today to discuss cybersecurity for your business.

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