The Grapevine

PoS and Computer System Security

March 26th, 2013

There is a real allure to integrating your systems as fully as possible. Some PoS systems are all-inclusive, and they make it easy to integrate in useful ways – and they typically have strong security precautions in place. (We’ve written about PoS systems in the past.)

But you still have to be careful, [level-members]especially if you’ve built your overall solution from separate parts.

If you or your staff surf the web from the front counter when the shop is slow, you may want to consider having a computer that’s separate from your PoS system. Or you may want to keep the PoS offline, entirely.

If that’s not an option, be sure that anti-virus protection is in place on all machines and up to date. Also make sure it includes broader malware protection. In some cases, a network-wide firewall may make sense, too.

Your PoS vendor may be able to help or an IT generalist if you’re not using a pre-packaged PoS.

Three more computer-security related issues for you to consider:

  1. Protect the wireless connection. Put a password in place immediately.
  2. PCI compliance is important if you’re running credit card transactions via the web.
  3. People are the weak link in just about every system. The movies may make it look like clever hackers can out think the best efforts of security measure, but more hacking is enabled by people being careless with or duped into giving up access information. Train them not to. And create separate log-ins for each employee. They make it much easier to track problems and to shutting down access when employees leave.