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POS Security Best Practices

POS Security Best Practices

The point-of-sale (POS) system is a vital part of any merchant’s business. There are many threats out there, from malware to skimming devices, that target POS systems. And, the security of a POS system impacts both merchants and customers. Compromised data puts customers at risk of having their funds or identity stolen, and puts merchants at risk of losing customer trust in the wake of a data breach – and losing revenue to fraudulent transactions.

By following a few best practices, merchants can help ensure that every transaction at the POS is a secure one.

Exceed PCI Compliance
“The sad truth is that far too many organizations spend only what they have to on security, which is often to meet some kind of compliance obligation … [but] real and effective security is about going beyond compliance,” according to KrebsOnSecurity. Compliance with the PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) is required for merchants that accept card payments and adhering to these guidelines helps merchants maintain a strong and secure payment processing environment. But merchants should partner with hardware and software providers that exceed the minimum PCI requirements and are constantly improving their security protocols.

Regularly Check Devices
Merchants should regularly check their devices for signs of tampering, which can help detect skimming devices affixed to terminals. And employees should be encouraged to keep an eye out for individuals loitering near terminals in closed checkout lanes or claiming to be from a POS repair company. Merchants should also regularly run security tests on their systems to check for malware. Malware is designed to be hard to detect, so it’s important for merchants to monitor their systems closely for suspicious files or data transmissions.

Adapt To New Technologies
The United States is moving toward a payment environment dominated by EMV chip technology. EMV offers an extra layer of security at the POS – the EMV chip produces a one-time code for every transaction to validate the payment card. Traditional magstripe cards use the same data for every transaction, making them much easier for criminals to reproduce. Additionally, merchants who are not able to accept EMV payments leave themselves vulnerable to increased counterfeit card fraud attempts and chargeback costs.

This doesn’t mean that merchants have to replace their existing systems. With a solution like MiPoint, which integrates seamlessly with legacy POS systems, merchants can become EMV compliant while keeping the systems they have already invested in.

Utilize Layered Security
The best protection for a merchant’s payment environment comes with the layered security of EMV, end-to-end encryption, and tokenization. With these three technologies working together, merchants can confidently run their businesses knowing that they are not storing, processing, or transmitting sensitive cardholder data. So, even if criminals were to gain access to the POS, there would be no useful data for them to steal.

Contact MiCamp today to learn more about how our PCI-certified payment solution, MiPoint, can keep your POS secure.

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