Despite the many benefits a point of sale (POS) system offers your business, you may need to take some additional measures to ensure point of sale security. Here are a few simple ways to confirm that your POS and mobile payment solutions are indeed secure.
POS systems and mobile credit card processing solutions rely on hardware and software to facilitate secure customer payments. Though you may not be an expert in POS system security, the payment processors you trust should use the latest technologies that minimize the exposure of sensitive data during and after transaction processing. POS security is optimized when your POS system includes the following features:
- Validated security measures. A secure POS system should use only software and processes that have been validated with the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) — as defined by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council — by a Payment Application Qualified Security Assessor (PA-QSA).
- Encryption and tokenization. Choose a payment processor that guarantees PCI compliance, and uses technology like encryption and tokenization during payment processing. These technologies replace a customer’s account number with a series of unique yet meaningless numbers before transaction processing takes place. Any sensitive data that could be infiltrated is protected in a secure and centralized server (not on the POS), and is not transmitted across networks where it could be intercepted by hackers.
- Prioritize a semi-integrated POS system setup. Many popular POS systems use an integrated setup, for speed at the point of sale. Yet the fact that it’s designed to eliminate delays in the POS experience means sensitive payment data is allowed to process — regardless of whether it’s encrypted.
For your business’s risk management and protection of customer data, a semi-integrated setup is actually ideal for POS security. It optimizes POS security by ensuring the POS only acts as a “pass through” for sensitive information. It transmits encrypted data immediately from terminal to payment processor, but never “sees” or stores any of the information.
- Network segmentation. To enhance POS security, use network connections for payment processing that are different from your other business functions. When you direct your POS to a server that’s not used to support other business processes, you make it more difficult for hackers to infiltrate POS systems and compromise mobile payment security with stolen employee passwords or credentials, or malware that can be introduced by human error.
- Educate your team on mobile security. Mobile payment processing via a mobile POS system or mobile credit card processing system using a smartphone or tablet should take place only on a secure, password protected network connection. The mobile device itself should be kept current with the most recent version of operating system software, which is often updated to patch suspected vulnerabilities.