Tag Archives: POS systems

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve the Security of Their Point-of-Sale Systems

Many small businesses such as restaurants, bars, or even retailers, use Point-of-Sale (POS) systems to make the process of receiving payments from customers easier. Complete POS systems may include a computer along with a monitor, a cash drawer, a receipt printer, a credit card reader, and a mouse and a keyboard. They tend to be relatively expensive (cost a few thousand dollars on average) and if you, as a small business owner, decide to invest in a POS system, you should be prepared that these devices are often targeted by hackers who attempt to steal credit card information.

The number of cybercrimes committed every year is quite alarming. One of the major POS system security breaches occurred in late 2011. Romanian hackers compromised more than 146,000 credit cards and stole almost $10 million. Hundreds of POS systems were accessed illegally in the process. Here are 5 ways small businesses can protect themselves and their customers from cyberattacks.

Never Use Default Passwords

A significant portion of POS systems use the passwords that were assigned to them in the factory. Retailers have no incentive to change the passwords and the end customers (i.e. small business owners) usually have no idea about the possibility of the POS system getting hacked into. The simplest way a hacker can get access to the data stored on a POS system is to try the original, factory-set password and chances are he/she will be right. For this reason, it is highly recommended to change the password after purchasing the device.

Evaluate Your Risks

There is something called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) protocols. These protocols set requirements to help organizations increase their security and develop formal processes designed to identify vulnerabilities that might reduce card holder data security. By following these requirements companies can evaluate the risk of being hacked and determine which controls can help their businesses be protected. This is not a one-time action. Risk assessment should be an ongoing process, so that if any threat emerges, it can be responded to by taking preventive measures. You should also keep in mind that risk assessment is only a part of all the applicable PCI DSS requirements.

Know Who You Are Dealing With

This could be the most important tip of all. To fully understand cyber criminality and the possibility of yours or your customers’ data being stolen, you should educate yourself in this area. By educating yourself in this field you will no longer be tempted to underestimate the potential consequences data theft could mean to you and your business. Often times criminals are former employees of the particular restaurant or bar that he/she targets. At the end of the day, it is much more comfortable and safe for the hacker to steal the confidential data from a far distance. There is no need for him/her to hold up a cash register at gunpoint anymore. The POS system can be accessed from anywhere in the world and data can be stolen via electronic means with little to no footprints left behind.

Do Business with Trained Resellers

If you are purchasing your POS system from a retailer and not the original manufacturer, you should see to it that the retailer has been trained under the Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIR) program. This program was put in place by the PCI Council and its purpose is to increase POS security. Professionals and IT experts working in the retail organizations can now receive this training. It is designed to educate them about how Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) applications can be installed securely. By following the methodology taught in the training, companies can make sure they comply with the PCI DSS standards. If you work with a trained individual, he/she will help you to install and maintain the payment applications you are going to be using. You can read more about these applications below.

Use a Reliable All-in-One PC

Small businesses can now protect their customers’ data by complying with the PCI DSS standards. PA-DSS apps can be installed on a number of devices, including tablets and PCs. This PA-DSS validation has to be correctly configured and maintained for it to work as it is supposed to be working. Otherwise it will not provide much benefit at all. Other apps such as ID verification apps can be installed on the PCs or tablets, as well, for increased security.

Conclusion

POS systems are among the most frequent targets of hackers trying to profit from their criminal activities. Since these devices are usually connected to the internet, they can be accessed from anywhere in the world by a capable hacker. This problem is not likely to go away any time soon and for this reason, you’d best be prepared.

Why Powerful POS Systems Are Imperative for Retail Success

There is no question that a powerful POS system plays a crucial role in the success of your retail business. After all, it is where checkout, payment and other transactions are done. You will want to make sure that each transaction goes smoothly and successfully without any hassles. It will cause great embarrassment to your business if you charge the customer the wrong price or punching in the order takes a long time. Unfortunately, these risks are all too possible with traditional cash registers. Whether you run a grocery, a restaurant or a retail store, here are some reasons to do away with outdated cash registers and start adapting a Cybernet POS system.

24/7 Reliability

Every retail business needs a POS system that offers round-the-clock reliability. This is something that Cybernet POS systems can offer. Unlike traditional cash registers and average POS devices, Cybernet’s all-in-one PC is powered by some of the most powerful CPUs developed by Intel. These make the PCs capable of handling heavy-duty computing tasks without lagging or breaking down. This also means all transactions for your retail business are carried out smoothly.

Touch Screen Technology

One of the most remarkable features Cybernet products is their advanced touch screen technology. This technology can definitely come in handy to retail industries. The 19-inch screen provides a clear and vibrant display. The PC also boasts a five-wire resistive touch capability, making it quick and easy to input data into the PC.

Space-Saving Solution

Space concern is another reason to shift from outdated POS system to a touchscreen Cybernet PC. Even though a Cybernet POS system packs more power, it saves more space. Many retail stores do not have enough counter space for large and bulky cashiers and computer equipment. A Cybernet all-in-one PC eliminates the need for a computer tower, since all the computer parts you need are housed in the compact monitor itself. This means you only need minimal space for the PC. Computer towers are also susceptible to dust, dirt and grime which can eventually lead to their breakage. This problem is no longer an issue with Cybernet’s fanless design.

Secure and Durable Stand

To help you and your employees get the best experience from Cybernet’s POS system, the all-in-one PC also comes with a stainless steel stand. This reinforced steel stand can be tilted up to 60 degrees for better viewing. The stability that the stand provides also ensures that you don’t have to worry about any unwanted motion or wobbling during touch input. The all-in-one PC also comes with VESA brackets so you can easily mount the PC to cash drawers and other equipment.

Multiple Ports

Despite the all-in-one PC’s small and compact size, it features multiple ports that can readily support all your POS accessories. You can connect different kinds of peripherals, such as printers, scanners, cash drawers and more.

An Update on Point of Sale (POS) Systems

Cybernet iPOS-G45

In June of 2011, we created this blog post about the state of the technology for Point of Sale (POS) systems. We decided to update and re-post it because Cybernet has just released a new POS system for retail, government, and hospitality: the iPOS-G45 all-in-one PC. In designing this new all-in-one PC, Cybernet analyzed the existing PC hardware that power POS systems, and decided improvements were in order. Among the findings: POS software was advancing, but the PC hardware was slow and outdated. Peripheral equipment still needed both parallel and serial connections. Touch screen technology needed to be robust. The result was Cybernet’s iPOS-G45, powered by Intel’s G45 Express chipset, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, multiple new and legacy ports, and a touch screen that can withstand up to 10 million touches. Read more at the iPOS-G45 product page.

And now, here’s the previous blog post:

Point of Sale (POS) systems have come a long way since they were first introduced in the retail industry during the 1970s. Initially set up as electronic cash registers, these customized systems were designed to improve efficiency in retail stores, as well as integrating with inventory control programs. Today, POS systems are used in many other industries besides retail; they are used in hospitality, factories and warehouses, health care, and banking.

These days, POS systems are available in different hardware/software configurations. Some systems are bundled together, with the software configured to only work on specially designed hardware (usually a small terminal-like device as in a retail store). Other systems use POS software that can be used on an average PC, as long as the PC has other serial or parallel ports to connect devices that provide input like scanned items or customer payment data, or output such as a printed receipt. Touch screens are additional features that are becoming more common; many users prefer them because it’s easier to learn the POS software and faster to enter data.

POS HardwareAnother POS configuration that has become increasingly is the self-service kiosk in retail environments, powered by touch screen PCs. Customers can easily process and pay for their items without the need for a cashier. Another new trend is the use of mobile devices whereby customers can interface with a retail store’s POS system to process their transactions by scanning or in-store wireless transmission. Both of these technology developments are consistent with the overall trend of “customer-centric retailing”, giving customers several technology options for checkout and payment.

Advances in POS hardware and software also benefit the retailer or business. Modern POS systems collect customer data that can be used for targeted promotion, cross-selling, and loyalty programs. Newer systems and options like self-service kiosks and mobile systems reduce labor costs, and improve customer satisfaction due to speedy checkout time. Improvements in POS software also enable the company to run multiple business applications with one POS system, saving money and time.