Can cloud point-of-sale boost security?

Two of the more challenging obstacles standing in the way of retailers, transaction processing service providers and virtually all other entities handling payment data are security and privacy, as data breaches have become major issues in the past few years. Consumers are finally beginning to become more aware of these dangers, while retailers have struggled to get their chips in order and fortify defenses so as to avoid being the subject of the next major headline. 

Payment processors and financial service providers have also made headway in overhauling systems and practices to ensure the integrity of their security frameworks and reduce the risk of data breach, identity theft and fraud. However, cloud point-of-sale systems might represent the next step in the evolution of transaction processing security. Before diving deeper into this concept, it might be helpful to know what the experts are saying needs to be done. 

Path toward safer environments
Dark Reading recently explained some of the ways payment card industry standards are moving along, both from the point of sale POS perspective and that of the physical cards themselves, beginning with chip-enabled solutions that provide an extra layer of security. While EMV chips have indeed become more popular in the United States, there is still much work to be done to ensure that the technology is used in the vast majority of transactions. 

According to the news provider, regulators have worked to stimulate more widespread improvements to privacy protection by deploying the "liability shift" rule, which begins to take place this fall and will basically force the entity with the least security controls to pay for losses and damages. From a policy standpoint, this can indeed be a great catalyst to get more types of companies involved in security improvements. 

Still, the source argued that EMV is not going to completely eradicate the risk of cybercrime, bitcoin and other options might be even riskier, and miscommunication among various parties can lead to a failure of protection. So, there will certainly be more advances in the realm of payment card and data protection, but it is yet to be determined how long it will take before these changes yield safer environments. 

A case for cloud Point of Sale
Cloud computing was once thought of as a major risk to corporate data security, although these fears were most common when the technology first gained traction in the market and few leaders actually understood what it was. In the case of point-of-sale security, cloud-based Software-as-a-Service options might be the best for several reasons, and most notably through the solutions' abilities to centralize management and oversight of information. 

Think about it this way - mobility and a greater diversity of systems, users, data types and devices have combined to make security a far more complicated prospect for businesses handling financial information. With a cloud POS model that indeed increases visibility and centralizes activity management across channels, platforms, mediums and locations, the risk of an intrusion going on for long periods of time unnoticed can be effectively reduced. Now, if only someone could help cloud POS providers figure out how to drive local hardware and prepare for EMV...