The retail sector has long been a favorite target for cybercriminals, as breaking into systems, taking payment information and selling it on the black market for a modest sum is really not all that complex. Despite the fact that the health care sector was by and large the most heavily victimized of all industries in the past couple of years, this does not mean that retailers can begin to settle into a sense of false security, as they have had their fair share of breaches as of late.
The Identity Theft Resource Center logged more than 300 breaches in the business category in its 2015 data breach report, and counted more than 16 million compromised records. In terms of raw breaches, this area took up nearly 40 percent of all the events that took place last year. Point of sale terminals and systems will need to be a focal point for leaders and security-centric decision-makers throughout the next 12 months, as one instance of breach can lead to massive losses.
Tips to improve
Security Info Watch recently listed some of the ways in which companies can begin to mitigate their POS-related risks with intelligent policy overhauls and the introduction of newer, more effective protections. Because payment processing is evolving so rapidly - meaning the systems in place are consistently changing, the fact remains that retailers need to be extremely vigilant when planning and executing security strategies in their organizations.
According to the news provider, the first step is always to conduct a thorough analysis of the current state of affairs in the company, looking for opportunities to patch holes that have been uncovered in the past. Without a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the needs and capabilities of the company from a security standpoint, it will be far more difficult to make any type of improvement during and following the overhaul of policies.
The source urged retailers to pay attention to notifications sent from their POS providers as well, specifically keeping an eye out for patches and upgrades to the apps involved given the fact that most of these will involve security. Having a strong line of communication with POS systems and software service providers can go a long way toward reducing the threat level of any retailer.
Do not go it alone
Many of the data breaches we've seen in the past years could have been avoided, as errors, poor integration and a lack of experience with these matters so commonly cause the events, or at least open the door for them to occur. By leveraging the support of an outside POS security and software vendor, retailers will be able to rest assured that their payment data and systems are properly managed, protected and optimized.
To strike the balance between a seamless customer experience and comprehensively secured transactions, modern expertise and technologies are critically important.